Five babies die at Caboolture Hospital, Qld

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The “unexpected” deaths of five babies are among 18 fatalities being investigated at a Queensland hospital.

The incidents, including a mother who had a delayed pregnancy diagnosis, occurred at Caboolture Hospital, 50 km north of Brisbane, between January 1, 2020 and August 4, 2022.

The deaths of five babies are among 18 fatalities being investigated at a Queensland Hospital. Picture: iStock.The deaths of five babies are among 18 fatalities being investigated at a Queensland Hospital. Picture: iStock.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said none of the incidents were caused by hospital staff malpractice or any “blameworthy acts,” according to The Courier Mail.

“Deaths of any kind in a hospital environment are tragic but all Queenslanders understand that it unfortunately happens,” the Minister said.

The information was revealed in documents released under Right to Information (RTI) and all 18 cases was given a Severity Assessment Code 1, triggering a review.

The code is given when healthcare leads to “unanticipated serious harm or an unexpected death”.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D''Ath. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan PeledQueensland Health Minister Yvette D”Ath. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled

“The review assesses whether there were any avoidable contributors to the outcome and whether any improvements in care delivery can be identified,” Ms D’Ath said.

The RTI documents found the deaths could be caused by a prior health condition but states the data included “deaths that were not reasonably expected as an outcome of health care prior to an analysis being undertaken.”

Among the cases were five neonatal deaths, including one instance of “unexpected neonatal complication” involving a “birth asphyxia” – when the baby’s brain fails to get enough oxygen in the lead up or during birth.

Caboolture Hospital in Queensland. Picture: Google Maps.Caboolture Hospital in Queensland. Picture: Google Maps.

Another incident included a delay in noticing a mother had pre-eclampsia – a pregnancy complication causing high blood pressure and other issues for mother and baby.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli accused the government of refusing to be upfront about the revelations.

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“Queenslanders deserve to know what is happening inside Caboolture Hospital and that’s why the opposition was in the pursuit of the truth,” the LNP leader said.

News.com.au has contacted Caboolture Hospital for comment.

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