Health

NSW Ambulance pressures: Sydney mum Melanie Moir saves her own newborn baby after emergency operator unable to tell her when help available

NSW Ambulance pressures: Sydney mum Melanie Moir saves her own newborn baby after emergency operator unable to tell her when help available
Written by Publishing Team

Sydney’s parents, Alex and Melanie Moir, spoke about their ordeal after the birth of their toddler son at home, then almost died because they couldn’t get an ambulance.

Mr Moir told 7NEWS.com.au that their baby boy Ethan arrived unexpectedly early on the morning of January 2, but together with Melanie, a midwife, they were able to deliver him at their home in Pagewood.

Learn more about their story in the video player above.

But Ethan was not doing well and they needed help – and the emergency operator couldn’t tell them when this was coming.

“My wife Melanie unexpectedly gave birth in our home during rapid labor,” Moir explained.

“And if the baby had been okay, that would have been a nice story, but when our little boy came out he really wasn’t in good shape.”

Ms Moir was forced to deliver her own baby at her Pagewood home after a triple-0 operator could not tell her when an ambulance would be available. Credit: Instagram / Alex Moir

“Our little boy wasn’t breathing properly, he was white as a ghost and he wasn’t moving – at that point we knew every minute was critical,” he said.

A midwife by training, Mélanie started to stimulate the baby but after a few minutes, he still did not react.

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“When our little boy came out he was really not in good condition” – Alex Moir

The panicked couple then called the triple-0, but the operator told them she didn’t know when an ambulance would be available.

“As helpful as the phone caller was trying to be, she couldn’t provide any other assistance to us and she couldn’t provide ETA for arrival,” Moir said.

Alex and Mélanie Moir.
Alex and Mélanie Moir. Credit: Instagram / Alex Moir

“We knew every minute was critical, so we made the decision to drive to the hospital.

“I got Melanie into the car with the baby strapped to her and she gave our little boy breaths and CPR on the way to the hospital.”

Mr Moir said on arrival at the hospital, their baby boy Ethan was rushed upstairs and declared a code blue.

“He was put on a ventilator, received a blood transfusion and basically received full treatment,” he said.

After the treatment Ethan’s condition improved and after the family spent a week in the hospital they were released from the hospital and are now expected to make a full recovery.

The “clearly” stressed health system

But Mr Moir says that if his wife hadn’t been trained as a midwife, it would have been a very different story.

“If Mel was not a midwife and if we had waited for an ambulance, this could have been a very tragic outcome for us,” he said.

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“If we had waited for an ambulance, it could have been a very tragic outcome for us” – Alex Moir

“Part of the reason we’re sharing this story is to try to make sure this doesn’t happen to other parents and hopefully healthcare workers can get the support they need. to provide the care they desperately want. “

Mr Moir said it was not just the NSW Ambulance paramedics who were stressed out, but during their stay in the hospital the strain on the healthcare system was clear.

“After spending a week in the hospital, it was very evident that our story is just a small example of how the health care system is overwhelmed,” he said.

“Every day we have heard conversations about the pressure they are all under and that the situation is only getting worse. “

Alex Moir said during their hospital stay that the pressure on the healthcare system was clear.
Alex Moir said during their hospital stay that the pressure on the healthcare system was clear. Credit: Instagram / Alex Moir

Mel and her newborn baby Ethan have since made a rapid recovery, however, Mr Moir says the emotional toll from the ordeal has been significant.

“Physically Mel is great, but obviously it’s been a lot of emotional and mental angst,” he said.

“We are so very grateful for the support these healthcare workers have been able to give us during such a difficult time.

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“It was a lot of emotional and mental angst” – Alex Moir

“We don’t really hold any of the first responders responsible for what happened, we weren’t mad at them, we just wanted to share our story to help them get the support they need. “

NSW Ambulances facing ‘unprecedented demand’

NSW Ambulance is investigating the incident and has since issued an apology to the Moir family.

“NSW Ambulance sincerely apologizes to the Moir family for any distress this situation has caused,” said an NSW spokesperson.

“NSW Ambulance is reviewing the circumstances surrounding this incident and a review is underway. We will notify the family of the outcome.

The spokesperson said NSW ambulance services were experiencing “unprecedented demand”, which peaked on New Years Day after receiving a record 5,120 triple-0 calls.

“Currently, the seven-day moving average is almost 4,500 triple-0 calls per day,” they said.

“Like other employers, NSW Ambulance is experiencing increased staffing issues associated with the pandemic, with some workers on leave and on sick leave.”

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