Only the midwife understood the danger for our baby – the doctors needed longer

We’ve received the story of a mother who almost lost her baby son because of a medical error. Only the midwife understood the seriousness of the situation –  the doctors needed more time to do so!

Tollabea reader Jennifer has written down her story for us, so that other parents will be more aware in a similar situation. And of course, she did it to reinforce the important role of midwives in the healthcare system once again! Here’s Jennifer’s guest blog post – she writes:

I am following you since quite a while. Now I also wanted to tell my story about babies, doctors and hospitals. I want to reach out to mums and dads and show them that they should not blindly believe everything! They should trust their own gut feeling.

Here’s our story on how we saved our son in the nick of time

When my son was born in 2016 he was suffering from jaundice – which isn’t really something out of the ordinary. Yes, most winter babies get it… So, we had been released from the maternity ward quite quickly.

A few days afterwards the serum bilirubin level (it’s the indicator of jaundice) was rising steadily and we had to go to another hospital. We had been taken in as inpatients, reluctantly so, because the level was borderline.

Now he had to get infusions and his oxygen saturation needed to be monitored. It stroke me as odd: the levels of the blood samples that were taken from his feet were inconsistent. From this point on they only took samples from his tiny hands and derived the levels from it. I was a clueless as a first time mom and of course I didn’t think much of this.

We were released from the hospital quickly, because the level was decreasing and my baby was drinking a little more than before.

My husband and I were really happy everything was well again.

After being home for a week our baby still didn’t want to drink properly… the diapers were dry almost all the time. We started to get really worried! On Friday his breathing suddenly got heavier… Our midwife showed up on Saturday she looked at him and said to us:

‘Something is off. I don’t like the way he looks.’

She took a closer look at him, weighed him, and so on. We were supposed to go to the emergency physician practice. She even wrote down everything she noticed in the examination notebook.

When we reached the practice, the doctor examined my son and then she just said: ‘Everything is okay. He just needs to learn how to drink and he’s a bit lazy about it.’ So we went home again, we were totally relieved and were badmouthing the midwife…

On Tuesday we went to see our pediatrician once again. It was the 6th of December.

Now things changed: This doctor took a look at him and called the ambulance immediately!

We were taken to the hospital with emergency lights on, the hospital we had been to because of the jaundice. Everything happened rather quickly. He was taken to the intensive care unit immediately. They said, he had to be taken to a specialized ospital and was in need of a surgery.

The ambulance took him and we followed him by car 30 minutes later.

At the hospital, they were waiting for us and they had already prepared him for the emergency surgery by doing a vascular expansion. Even now I’m getting teary-eyed while writing this.

The diagnosis was: blocked artery.

If I hadn’t gone to see the doctors on Tuesday, he would’ve been lying dead in his bed on Wednesday!

But they saved him! Even now he still needs to take his meds, but aside from that he’s fine.

When I think back I keep wondering: Why didn’t the doctors diagnose the problem when they noticed the ‘wrong‘ oxygen saturation? Why didn’t the doctor sent us to the hospital that was just THREE steps away from the emergency physician practice, just to make sure everything was alright? The midwife immediately noticed it.

Since then I ask at least three times and question everything which seems suspicious to me.

Now my son is healthy and full of life and I thank God for it every day. But the fact that he was saved wasn’t thanks to the doctors in my opinion, it was the midwife. I advise every pregnant woman to have a midwife! Because she notices more than you and some doctors do.

Kind regards
Jennifer

P.S. from the Tollabea team: Please share the article, so that more parents are aware about what can happen! Thank you!