Health chiefs launch investigation after 18 ‘unexpected’ deaths at one hospital – including five BABIES in 18 months
- Queensland hospital investigate 18 ‘unexpected fatalities, including five babies
- The fatalities occurred between January 1, 2020 and August 4, 2022
- Caboolture Hospital staff are not accused of malpractice or blameworthy acts
The deaths of five babies are among 18 fatalities being investigated at a single Queensland hospital.
The incidents occurred at Caboolture Hospital, 50 km north of Brisbane, between January 1, 2020, and August 4, 2022, it has been revealed.
An earlier inquiry had found the hospital had a ‘negative workplace culture and destabilised governance structure which could result in an increased safety risk.
But Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath insisted none of the incidents was as a result of any malpractice or ‘blameworthy acts’ by hospital staff.
‘Deaths of any kind in a hospital environment are tragic but all Queenslanders understand that it unfortunately happens,’ Ms D’Ath said.
The deaths of five babies are among 18 fatalities being investigated at Caboolture Hospital, located 50 km north of Brisbane, between January 1, 2020, and August 4, 2022
The details were revealed in documents released under Right to Information and each death was given a Severity Assessment Code 1, which triggers a detailed review.
This code is given when healthcare results in ‘unanticipated serious harm or an unexpected death.’
Among the 18 fatalities in the 18 month period were five babies, including one case where a mother’s condition of pre-eclampsia was not immediately recognised.
Among the 18 fatalities in the 18 month period were five babies, including one case where a mother’s condition of pre-eclampsia was not immediately recognised
Another fatality was caused by an ‘unexpected neonatal complication’ involving a ‘birth asphyxia’- when a baby’s brain and other organs don’t get enough oxygen before, during or straight after being born.
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli accused the state government of not being upfront about the revelations in the documents.
‘Queenslanders deserve to know what is happening inside Caboolture Hospital and that’s why the opposition was in the pursuit of the truth,’ Mr Crisafulli said.
The health department document states the data included, ‘deaths that were not reasonably expected as an outcome of health care prior to an analysis being undertaken’.
But it adds that the deaths could be a result of an underlying health condition.
Ms D’Ath added: ‘A Severity Assessment Code is a normal and important process that initiates a detailed review when health care results in unanticipated serious harm or an unexpected death.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said none of the incidents was as a result of any malpractice or ‘blameworthy acts’ by hospital staff
‘The review assesses whether there were any avoidable contributors to the outcome and whether any improvements in care delivery can be identified.’
The previous inquiry findings into Caboolture Hospital, released in November 2021, found at least one preventable death occurred as a result of surgical negligence between 2015 and 2020.