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Grieving mum slams hospital where her baby daughter died after doctors missed warning signs

Emma Guinness

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| Last updated 

Grieving mum slams hospital where her baby daughter died after doctors missed warning signs

Featured Image Credit: Nine / Mackay Hospital and Health Service / Facebook

A grieving Australian mum has slammed the hospital where her baby died and claimed that warning signs were missed.

Shontell Falconer, from Queensland, has accused Mackay Hospital of failing to spot the symptoms of pre-eclampsia when she gave birth to her daughter Rahni in 2020.

According to the NHS, pre-eclampsia is a potentially fatal pregnancy complication that causes high blood pressure and can lead to complications in both the mother and baby.

These complications can include damage to the heart, liver and brain - and swelling of the face, feet and hands can occur too.

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The mum told doctors she was at risk of pre-eclampsia. Credit: Facebook / Shontell Falconer
The mum told doctors she was at risk of pre-eclampsia. Credit: Facebook / Shontell Falconer

Falconer explained that she had previously had a traumatic pregnancy with her son when she also developed the condition, so she knew she was at high risk.

In the case of her son, he had to be born early via caesarean section.

She told doctors that they, therefore, had to keep a very close eye on her pregnancy with Rahni, particularly in the latter stages when the condition is most common.

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Falconer explained that she knew herself when she had developed high blood pressure and despite going to hospital, she was quickly told to go home.

She told A Current Affair: "Now we look back it was them failing to pick up that pre-eclampsia was well and truly setting in and [they] needed to do something.

"When we presented at the hospital the first time I should have been admitted and she would have been out so much sooner."

The mum believes that early intervention would have saved her baby. Credit: Facebook / Shontell Falconer
The mum believes that early intervention would have saved her baby. Credit: Facebook / Shontell Falconer
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Tragically, the mum explained that two weeks after her first visit, she went back to the hospital when Rahni stopped moving in her womb.

It was then that doctors realised that something was seriously wrong with Rahni and performed a caesarean.

But sadly, this was not enough to save her daughter's life and she passed away.

Her dad said: "She went too long without oxygen and there was no real brain function left.

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"And then they sort of say, 'You're gonna make a choice. You either take her off the breathing tubes, or leave her on, because she's not gonna get better'."

The hospital had admitted to failures in 'root cause analysis'.

Their findings said: "We determined that aspects of your care which contributed to the death of Rahni, fell below expected standards.

"There was a missed opportunity to make a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia."

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Another report, horrifyingly, found that similar failings resulted in the deaths of three babies and women suffering mental harm.

The hospital has admitted to failings in 'root cause analysis.' Credit: Google
The hospital has admitted to failings in 'root cause analysis.' Credit: Google

As reported by the MailOnline, a spokesperson from the hospital said: "Mackay HHS continues to communicate with and offer clinical support to women who have come forward.

"We're also working in partnership with women to implement recommendations made by the obstetrics and gynaecology investigation into Mackay Hospital.

"While nothing can change the past, the experiences of the women and their families are leading to improvements for other women coming into our care."

Tyla has reached out to Mackay Hospital for comment.

If you need support and advice following a pregnancy loss, you can contact the Tommy’s team at [email protected]. You can also call them for free on 0800 014 7800 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Topics: Health

Emma Guinness
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