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1. Mum’s heartbreak at coroner’s findings into newborn’s death.
A Melbourne mother has said she is heartbroken after the coroner failed to find a clear reason for her newborn’s death.
According to the ABC Sonja Jamsek’s daughter, Summer, died from a condition known as pulmonary hypertension 16 hours after being born on April 4, 2010.
A video of her taken just moments after she was born shows a nervous looking Ms Jamsek trying to smile with newborn lying on her chest.
Her husband, taking the video says “First film, sweetie, first of many.”
“She had a bit of trouble waking up.” Ms Jamsek says.
“She has daddy’s personality. She hasn’t cried yet though. She’s not a cry baby,”
Ms Jamsek then asks questions about her daughter’s health to the midwife as to why she has not tried to feed, and what noises she is making.
The footage shows Summer blue and lethargic, symptoms which were later identified by a more experienced midwife who ordered the baby into specialist care.
Ms Jamsek said Summer did not cry until seven hours after she was born, when a member of the Newborn Emergency Transport Service told her to prepare herself because “your baby’s as sick as a baby can get”.
“And I knew, I knew then and there, everything I had been saying was true and my baby was going to die,” she told 7.30.
Ms Jamsek believes Summer died because of a “cascading series of delays and missed opportunities” by the midwives and doctors treating her.
“She never had an opportunity to survive, because she wasn’t given the medical treatment that she deserved,” Ms Jamsek told 7.30.
According to 7.30 the paediatrician was asked twice in an hour, by ambulance paramedics on the phone, whether Summer had been given antibiotics, but they were not administered until the paramedics arrived.
The baby was rushed to the Children’s Hospital but it was too late.
Coroner Phillip Byrne ruled Summer likely died of the naturally-occurring pulmonary hypertension.
“While I cannot absolutely discount the possibility Ms Jamsek’s use of (antidepressant) Lexapro during pregnancy impacted upon baby Summer, that prospect, is, in my view, highly unlikely,” he said.
“On balance I am comfortably satisfied it did not.”
He also ruled the actions of medical staff were not “causal factors”.
2. ADF recruits forced to rape.
Warning: This item contains details of sexual abuse and may be distressing for some readers.
The child abuse royal commission has heard that teenage Australian Defence Force recruits were subjected to horrific sex acts that allegedly caused one to suicide.
In his opening address to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, counsel assisting the commission Angus Stewart, SC, said navy recruits were subjected to “ritualised practices of bastardisation that were designed to break in and humiliate new entrants”.