Laboring mom says she was discharged from the maternity ward at Hutt Hospital when she was full

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The Hutt Valley District Health Board is investigating allegations that a woman in active labor was turned away from the Hutt Hospital maternity ward because she was full.

Robyn Tyler gave birth to her daughter at Te Awakairangi Birthing Center in Melling, Lower Hutt on November 23, after being told she was told the hospital maternity ward was closed because it was in “code”. Red “.

A code red situation means that a department is at full capacity due to a lack of available beds or staff. New figures show that the maternity ward at Hutt Hospital has been coded seven times so far in 2021. In the previous four years, this had only happened six times in total.

The Upper Hutt wife said her experience left her with a lack of confidence in the maternity ward at Hutt Hospital: “I wish I was confident about having another baby… I had the impression of not trusting them. You are very, very vulnerable when you are in labor and after you have given birth.

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Robyn Tyler, a woman from Upper Hutt, with her baby daughter, to whom she gave birth at the Te Awakairangi Birthing Center after learning that the Hutt Hospital maternity ward was closed while she was in active labor there.

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Robyn Tyler, a woman from Upper Hutt, with her baby daughter, to whom she gave birth at the Te Awakairangi Birthing Center after learning that the Hutt Hospital maternity ward was closed while she was in active labor there.

The maternity ward at Hutt Hospital suffered a scathing toll in 2018 after a baby died. The DHB has since implemented all of the review’s recommendations. However, it continued to experience staff shortages.

During a code red in August, only one midwife was on call at the hospital maternity ward for a period of time.

Tyler’s ordeal began when she gave birth at home when she was almost 42 weeks pregnant. She called her midwife who told her to stay put as she was due to be induced the next day and the midwife was not sure she was in labor.

But after the contractions intensified, Tyler’s partner drove her to Hutt Hospital, where she again called her midwife but couldn’t pass. The couple went to the maternity ward and found the reception area empty.

A nurse passed by and Tyler and her partner explained that she was in labor and the nurse went to pick up Tyler’s midwife, who was already there.

Tyler felt that she had spent the next hour waiting and at this point she was in so much pain that she was on all fours on the floor.

When her midwife finally came running, she said she attended another client’s Caesarean. After checking Tyler and seeing that his cervix was at least two inches dilated, she told Tyler to go to Wellington Regional Hospital.

“She’s like, ‘you can’t be here. It is in code red. They can’t take anybody … I’m like “you don’t care”.

Fearful of giving birth on the 20-kilometer journey to Wellington Regional Hospital, Tyler instead decided to go to the Te Awakairangi Birthing Center, a private facility located not far from Hutt Hospital. Three hours later, she gave birth to her daughter there.

However, due to postpartum complications, Tyler was rushed back to Hutt Hospital for emergency surgery.

Joy Farley, director of provider services for the Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast Districts of Health Boards, said in a statement that DHB was not aware of any cases where a person in labor had been turned away from the hospital. Hutt Hospital because of its capacity.

“It’s not something that’s happening.”

Farley said the board of health would discuss Tyler’s experience directly with her to “investigate further, understand [her] experience and provide additional support if needed ”.

No reportable events were found to indicate that a code red was reported on November 23, Farley said. The DHB has tried to prevent the Codes Reds, but admissions to its maternity ward could be unpredictable.

It recruited more staff and used special software to measure the number of clinical hours needed based on the level of care patients needed at all times.

The emergency plans and protocols have also helped the DHB manage demand during peak periods “and ensure that mothers can be confident that our maternity hospitals are a safe environment where they and their babies will receive quality care from a source. committed and qualified team ”.

Robyn Tyler says the maternity reception area at Hutt Hospital was empty when she arrived and was later told it was closed.  (File photo)

Rosa Woods / Stuff

Robyn Tyler says the maternity reception area at Hutt Hospital was empty when she arrived and was later told it was closed. (File photo)

When a red code occurred in the maternity unit, the head doctor on duty, the manager of obstetrics, the director of the midwife, the heads of nurses, the heads of midwives and the manager service staff were informed, and they provided advice to service staff and could assist with patient care, said Farley.

Additional staff can be called upon when a code red “to ensure clinical care is not compromised”.

Red codes can last from an hour to more than a day, depending on the cause. The status was assessed every hour.

The Te Awakairangi Birth Center is due to close on Tuesday because its owner, the Wright Family Foundation, can no longer afford to operate it without DHB funding.

The Hutt Families for Midwives community action group fought to save the facility. But at a board meeting on September 1, members voted against funding postnatal care at the birthing center, so it can remain open.


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