Midwife Melanie Moir had a “quick job” and gave birth to her son, Ethan, on her bathroom floor on January 2.
The newborn was neither breathing nor moving, but when her husband Alex Moir called an ambulance he claimed he was told that no ambulance was available to help him and that the wait time was unknown.
“He was white as a ghost and he just wasn’t moving,” Mr. Moir said.
“We haven’t been on the phone for more than 10 minutes, but during that time she (the operator) also said that she couldn’t provide us with ETA.
“At this point we knew every minute was critical and if my wife hadn’t been a midwife it would have been even scarier,” Moir said.
He then made the decision to drive the family to the hospital as his wife performed CPR on their newborn baby in the car.
“Mel was giving Ethan CPR while we were driving and the midwives met us there, took us straight, said he was code blue, admitted him to the NICU, put him a respirator… and we spent the next week in the NICU.
“After this experience and hearing the Prime Minister talk about the soundness of the system… it just is not the case,” Moir said.
“The healthcare workers in the field do an incredible job, but they cannot provide the level of care they want.
“And the first responders – we take no responsibility for them – they would be there if they could.”
The situation is any new parent’s worst nightmare and Mr Moir said they were among the “lucky ones” due to his wife’s training as a midwife.
Without his medical training, the situation could have been tragic.
“It wasn’t moving, and I could tell, the first few minutes I knew it was attached to the placenta and it can take a few minutes for babies to come out on the outside once they’re born. “Ms. Moir said.
“But I could tell after a few minutes that he wasn’t blushing, he wasn’t answering me, that he was barely breathing, that things were pretty serious.
“I think that’s the scary side for us, obviously we feel really lucky that everything went well… but I have a lot of friends who are pregnant or who have recently given birth and I think about one of them. ‘them at home, in public on vacation… that really scares me to think, “added the new mom.
“My head was moving back and forth between a scared mother and a midwife, so if you didn’t have this knowledge, information and experience to draw on, it would have been very scary.”
Three-year-old burn victim waits for help “51 scary minutes”
Ambulance services across Australia have been crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic, with similar incidents reported in Victoria and South Australia in recent months.
Last night, a family in South Australia called Triple Zero after their three-year-old suffered severe burns and was forced to wait “agonizing 51 minutes” for an ambulance to arrive.
The Ambulance Employees Association SA union yesterday issued a statement apologizing to the family and child for the delay.
“There were no ambulances to send,” the statement read.
“Our sincere apologies to this family and their child who waited an excruciating 51 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.”
Meanwhile, Victoria Ambulance issued a code red warning last night, warning that ambulances were in “extremely high demand” in Melbourne.
“There will likely be a delay for an ambulance to reach you. If it is not an emergency, please call NURSE-ON-CALL (1300 60 60 24),” the message read. .
The hospital system is also being pushed to the brink, with thousands of Victorian healthcare workers currently unable to work because they are either infected with COVID-19 or close contacts of cases, causing a widespread staff shortage.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said 392 hospital staff were off work, along with 422 Victoria Ambulance staff.
“These are self-reported numbers. I expect that number to be actually higher and that puts a great strain on our system,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he would speak to Ambulance Victoria this week about the immense pressure on the system.