A devastated mother who lost her newborn son after he was given a dose of nitrous oxide gas instead of oxygen at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital has spoken out.
Sonya Ghanem went into labor on Wednesday July 13, and was taken by husband Youssef to Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital – the same facility where she had given birth to her three other children safely.
“I held my baby; they [brought] him to me at the hospital,” Mrs Ghanem, told Channel Nine.
“I said, ‘I want to see him.’ Just looking at him, shaking. ‘My son, wake up,’ I would tell him. ‘Wake up, wake up. What did they do to you?’ ”
Sonya’s waters had broken but upon arrival at the hospital at 2.30am she was told there were no beds. The waiting time and the chaos at the hospital was unlike anything the parents had seen before.
Eight hours later, doctors determined Sonya needed an emergency caesarian and she was rushed into theatre, where she delivered a healthy baby boy.
Sonya Ghanem and her husband Youssef. Image via Facebook.
“A well-known hospital, everyone knows this hospital. All the antenatal checks were fine, heartbeat, everything was fine. Tick, tick, tick." The mum told The Australian.
Shortly after, the tiny boy was administered what doctors said was oxygen.
The little boy had been given what was thought to be oxygen after his birth – a common procedure in c-section births.
He had only lived 57 minutes before he was pronounced dead.
Her eldest daughter Chantal told The Australian “They didn’t say why it was rushed, all rushed. We were waiting and waiting and waiting … then we just find out, you know, gone. The baby’s gone.”
Sonya, who was under a general anaesthetic while the c-section was performed, woke to the news no mother could comprehend, her baby was gone.
The boy was buried last Thursday. He would have been two weeks old tomorrow.
When they buried their son Sonya and Youssef were unaware a mistake in the theatre lead to his death. It wasn’t until Saturday, when they were called in to the hospital, and told the "devastating error".
A second baby at the hospital experienced an unexplained deterioration - left with brain damage and severe impairment. Doctors would later find they repeated the same error which had killed Sonya and Youssef's son.
Both children were wrongly administered nitrous oxide, dispensed through an oxygen outlet.
Sonya Ghanem and her husband Youssef with their third child. Image via Facebook.
The oxygen outlet in one of the hospital's theatres had been was incorrectly installed and certified by an external company, BOC Limited a year ago - in July 2015.