Emma Green is 26 and her baby is dead.
Emma drove from her home in Gladstone to Rockhampton Hospital on Friday last week, after she went into labour. She approached the hospital but was turned away.
According to Emma’s family, she went to the hospital again the next day. Twice. But was sent away on both occasions.
Then on Monday, Emma went to the hospital once more but was apparently told her contractions were not yet close enough together to warrant her admission. Then on Tuesday morning Emma felt her unborn baby stop kicking, stop shifting, stop moving at all.
She went to the hospital again that afternoon, terrified that something was wrong.
Emma’s aunt Sue Bishop explained to The World Today what happened next:
They said we don’t have a bed. You’re going to go away and come back at 8pm. ‘Cause she doesn’t live in Rockhampton and they hadn’t progressed to another motel room, she went out and sat at the doorstep and waited for four hours and went back in eight o’clock. At 8pm they actually did a monitor of the baby’s heart and they told her he’s dead.
Four separate investigations have now been launched into what happened to Emma and her unborn child. The story is already the subject of countless media reports. Fingers are being pointed. Blame is being laid. Everyone wants to know how a perfectly healthy woman and what has been described as a ‘model pregnancy’ could go so horribly wrong.
Emma and her family are obviously shattered. And they are also angry. Her aunt Sue Bishop continued in her response to The World Today by explaining that:
It was a perfectly healthy baby that was let down by incompetent humans. If they’d have induced her on Monday afternoon at that four o’clock appointment, after she’d already been in labour for three and a half days, if they’d have induced her then they’d have delivered a live baby.
Bed shortages in hospitals around the country have been the subject of ongoing criticism from medial practitioner and midwifery organisations. Drastic cuts to health services in Queensland have been pointed to as part of the problem. Sadly, the experience of patients who genuinely need help being turned away by public hospitals is all too common.
Have you ever had an issue with not being able to get a hospital bed?