Babies died of natural causes: NSW coroner

A coroner has found newborns Manusiu Amone and Jasmine Chiang died from natural causes after they were born in separate Sydney hospitals in 2014.

Two babies who died shortly after being born in Sydney hospitals did so as a result of natural causes, a coroner has found, making no reference to a pain-relief drug given to both mothers while in labour.

In the Glebe Coroners Court on Friday, Deputy State Coroner Derek Lee jointly delivered his findings into the 2014 deaths of Manusiu Amone at Fairfield Hospital and Jasmine Chiang at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital due to "some commonality of issues" between their March inquests.

The mothers of both babies were given Pethidine, a drug used for short-term pain relief, including during labour.

At his daughter's inquest, Manusiu's father Sam Amone said he and his wife Sharon were alone in the hospital ward when their little girl was born in November 2014 with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.

Mr Amone told the court he had frantically called for help and pressed the emergency button when she stopped breathing in his arms but got no answer.

Shortly before the baby was born, Ms Amone was given a 150-milligram dose of Pethidine.

In her autopsy report, Dr Isabel Brouwer proposed Manusiu's death was "most likely due to the toxic effects" of the drug.

But on Friday, Mr Lee found Manusiu's cause of death was a lack of oxygen to the brain, secondary to sudden breathing difficulties.

Jasmine, the firstborn of Nathalie and Simon Chiang, also died from oxygen deficiency about seven hours after her trouble-free delivery in April 2014, which was "probably" complicated by lung bleeding, he found.

Ms Chiang was given 100 milligrams of Pethidine for relief when she became distressed by her contractions.

Mr Lee concluded both babies died from natural causes.

Neither families were in court on Friday.

In both cases, the coroner recommended the NSW health minister consider introducing a policy requiring post-mortem examinations of reportable neonatal deaths to be performed jointly by a forensic pathologist and a perinatal and pediatric anatomical pathologist in a forensic facility.

2 min read
Published 22 June 2018 at 12:18pm
Source: AAP