Chance to save new mum 'possible'

Last updated 15:29 18/02/2014
Casey Nathan
TRAGIC END: Casey Nathan, kissed here by Hayden Tukiri, died six hours after giving birth.
Casey Nathan family
Fairfax NZ
SEEKING ANSWERS: Friends and family of Casey Nathan arrive at court. They provided a list of 10 concerns they wanted addressed.
Casey Nathan

Relevant offers


Thief made hole in wall and stole $3000 in coins from Taupo's Irish pub Blood on the wall: How toddler murderer Troy Taylor tried to pretend he hadn't killed Ihaka Stokes Guilty and not guilty verdict mix for Colin Robert Williams in sex abuse 'memory' trial Police investigating whether spate of robberies are linked Police searching for man with distinctive dragon tattoo on his face Repeat Manuwatu offender seeks help to deal with issues behind indecent acts 'There's some sicko out there': Cat loses one eye in pellet gun attack Man who raped sleeping woman at party allowed to stay in New Zealand Sacked Waikato medics snooped into patient files Father in court after smacking his children with a belt

A Waikato Hospital doctor could say only that it was "possible" the life of a young Huntly mother was savable if she'd been taken to hospital earlier.

Dr Aidan O'Donnell spent this morning at a coroner's inquest into the deaths of Casey Missy Turama Nathan, 20, and her son, Kymani, in Hamilton today.

Nathan died in Waikato Hospital on May 21, 2012, six hours after giving birth to Kymani, who died two days later.

When questioned by coroner Garry Evans, O'Donnell, who has 16 years experience, said it appeared Nathan was suffering an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) when she arrived at Waikato Hospital.

AFE is a rare and incompletely understood obstetric emergency in which amniotic fluid, foetal cells, hair, or other debris enter the mother's bloodstream via the placental bed of the uterus and trigger an allergic reaction.

This results in the heart and lung collapsing.

The coroner asked O'Donnell if the hospital had had access to Nathan earlier, would AFE have been diagnosed earlier?

"Yes," O'Donnell replied.

However, he said it was only "possible" that her life would have been saved.

He told counsel representing the Nathan whanau and Hayden Tukiri - Nathan's partner - that when Nathan arrived at hospital she had suffered extreme blood loss, estimated at 2 litres. This was classified as Class 4 - the most severe loss that a person can experience.

O'Donnell said he was surprised at Nathan's state, given the hospital had been told she'd lost less than that.
Counsel Kay Hoult asked him whether the underestimation of blood loss was acceptable.

Nathan's lead maternity carer - who has name suppression - had recorded that she had lost just 480 millilitres of blood at Huntly Birth Care, Hoult said.

O'Donnell said a healthy woman going through labour would normally lose about 500ml.

Asked why the midwives didn't insert an intravenous line into Nathan sooner - at Huntly Birth Care - O'Donnell said that by then Kymani had been born, and "there were conflicting demands on their time".

O'Donnell said the delay in the midwives getting an IV line in was "slightly disappointing". However, even his own staff struggled to do the same at Waikato Hospital.

Ad Feedback

The doctor said it was his opinion, from the evidence that he had read, that Kymani suffered an event during delivery which resulted in his brain damage.

Therefore, O'Donnell said, by the time the ambulance arrived the damage had already been done.

The coroner's court heard up to 14 doctors worked to save Nathan.

- Waikato Times

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content