Newborn died after vacuum extraction

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A PEDIATRICIAN treating a newborn baby who died from a bleed in her brain and multiple organ failure has told an inquest he's never seen a case like it in 32 years.

Helani … was born by vacuum extraction delivery … She died 47 hours later when her life support was withdrawn ... New South Wales Deputy State Coroner Scott Mitchell is investigating whether Helani was properly monitored and given adequate medication to treat her shock and bleeding.

… Dr Steve Hartman said it was the first case of subgaleal bleeding (bleeding between the membrane covering bones and dense tissue on the cranium) he had treated in more than three decades of practising medicine.

… Helani died of multiple-organ failure associated with hypovolaemic shock … and a subgaleal bleed in the brain caused by the vacuum extraction.

… Obstetric registrar … said she chose a vacuum extraction delivery for Helani, instead of a caesarian section or forceps delivery, when she showed signs of foetal distress.

"A caesarean section posed a lot of risk because the baby's head was so low (in the pelvis)," … The practice of using a forceps had been "largely abandoned" by doctors because of the risk of spinal injuries and internal bleeding, she added …

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448