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1 of 4 babies exposed to TB dies

RiotPost 3 December 2009 30

ABC Online and the Canberra Times are carrying the tragic story of a 14 week old baby boy, Douglas ”DJ” Franco-Gill, who died weeks after being exposed to Tubercilosis when an undiagnosed carrier, the father of another of the child, was allowed to stay overnight in the Canberra Hospital’s antenatal unit back in September. DJ was was born 10 weeks premature. He was one of four newborn babies in the antenatal unit at the time of the exposure.

Questions have been raised regarding hospital proceedures, ACT Health’s responce to the parents concerns and the cause of the child’s death (a coronial investigation has been called).

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1 of 4 babies exposed to TB dies
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Friska 9:38 am 04 Dec 09

TCH is disgusting, I was there a few years ago with a few broken bones and I ended up leaving half way through recovery because the state of their bathrooms/toilets are disgraceful. I constantly had stomach bugs and chucked every time I went in there. I witnessed a hospital cleaner clean a shared bathroom in a ward once every 3/4 days!!
I now have health insurance and swear to this day I will never enter that hospital again.

proneon 9:08 am 04 Dec 09

My son was born at TCH and was in the Neonatal intensive care unit next to DJ, I have nothing but total respect for the fantastic and caring staff at TCH, everyone we had contact with did a brilliant job. The rooms in Ante Natal which are on the floor below and have single seat lounge chairs that fold out to a bed for partners to stay overnight. The only complaint I have is the terrible parking.

cleo 12:09 am 04 Dec 09

Don’t go to the press they are A1 arseholes!

mred 11:12 pm 03 Dec 09

What’s the difference if he stayed over night or not? Surely the unfortunate baby who died could just as easily come to the same grief from a 15 minute visit. I sure hop husbands aren’t thrown out of hospitals because of some poor tragedy.

Anna Key 10:33 pm 03 Dec 09

But if the father was undiagnosed, how might this be avoided? What would have happened if the mother had undiagnosed TB and passed it on?

It would also be nice if the poor child could be known by his name rather than “DJ”.

54-11 10:02 pm 03 Dec 09

No, junkett, we should not leave it alone. This is a public health issue and one that is important to us.

Don’t even think about censoring poeple who have concerns about our (deteriorating) health system, and even more concerns about our (deteriorating) health minister.

junkett 8:19 pm 03 Dec 09

Oh, FFS! We don’t live third world here as far as health care goes. As much as I hate the Labor party, don’t take press articles as gospel. Even the Beaker (“all hale the Beaker”) Stanhope can’t stop tragic events.

As always there will be more to the story that we will not and should not hear about (despite all Waterford’s very public postulating “our right to know”).

This is a shit of a time for the parents even if going straight to the press was a very bad move. Leave it alone.

Thumper 6:32 pm 03 Dec 09

Because nothing bad ever happens to anybody in private hospitals.

Well no-one has died of TB recently.

But it’s all good, Katy said so.

TAD 6:31 pm 03 Dec 09

A sad case much like many others every week that are grieved in private.

However with the opportunity for sensationalism by the CT and political mileage by MLAs, this poor child and his parents’ grief is laid bare in the most exploitative way.

Is the death in any way related to TB?

No but that would make a far less interesting story.

housebound 6:05 pm 03 Dec 09

Funny thing, today we get news of a child dying, and Katy’s office punps out media releases telling us all how well the health portfoliio is doing.

Woody Mann-Caruso 5:20 pm 03 Dec 09

Glad I’m having my baby at Calvery…

Because nothing bad ever happens to anybody in private hospitals.

(Maybe you can send the baby to a private school. That way, your grandchildren can be born fighting on horseback, or maybe in a restaurant that serves cooked meats sliced to order.)

Skidbladnir 4:41 pm 03 Dec 09

Then again, its not like he deliberately their humidicribs and spat onto the children while they slept.
Trained medical professionals did their analysis & risk profiling, and said 4 babies and a whole pile of adults, were all at risk of contracting tuberculosis.

I am assuming 1) the medical staff were at least able to do their risk assessments competently and in accordance with their training, and 2) you aren’t one of those medical professional involved, since you’re commenting here.

That he was in a maternity room overnight is almost a side issue to others being in enclosed public spaces overnight with a contagious tuberculosis case.
It is still an issue, in that most postnatal mothers prefer having time to deal with the baby in their own way, and nurses have other duties to attend to instead of catering to the needs\wants\wishes of any new fathers hang around on ward after hours.

Grail 4:18 pm 03 Dec 09

sepi – these babies came “into contact” with the guy the same way they come “into contact” with dozens of other concerned fathers who stay overnight against the protocols.

Is there any indication that the TB would not have been spread if the guy had actually left and only spent a few hours there during the day? It’s not like TB only infects people at night, unless I’ve missed the memo.

There’s also a huge difference between “four babies were in the antenatal unit at the time” versus “four babies were potentially infected with TB.” If they were premature, one presumes they’d have been in humidicribs, and at the very least I’d assume that all four babies were not in the one two-person room overnight.

midlife 4:11 pm 03 Dec 09

The news have been trying to beat up this story over the past couple of weeks. Something is missing. The Times were beating up that he was allowed to stay not that he had TB. The cause of death for the poor baby that died has not been linked to TB as yet. With such little information all I see is a media and political circus.

As for the man staying overnight, maybe the nurses were showing some compassion and had no reason to suspect his illness. As for being exposed, health/infection guidelines would define contact in a wide manner so it would not necessarily be in the first person. He could just have been in the same area or rooms as the babies and health authorities are being catious by treating the babies as if they had been fully exposed. They would be damned if they ignored the chance of an infection and something happened.

sepi 3:43 pm 03 Dec 09

The ill man stayed overnight with his wife in a two person room, which is not supposed to be allowed. Although someone’s husband stayed overnight in the chair by the bed when I was in a public maternity ward too.

They tell you it is not permitted, but perhaps their ‘policy’ allows for this to happen if the person is being quiet.

I still don’t understand how so many babies came into contact with this man. Especially premature ones.

It is so very very sad.

Skidbladnir 3:25 pm 03 Dec 09

Three weeks ago the ACT Chief Medical Officer said there may have been a breach, and Departmental investigations were continuing.
Later that same day the Health Minister’s spokesperson strangely announced that there was no breach of policy, going so far to say that as such there was no need for a departmental inquiry.

While currently just media reports that the Minister mislead the public about her department, potential risks to health, and the potential impact on those affected, but I guess she could just wait until a coronial inquiry confirms it into the legal finding.

Will she fight the coroner, like the Chief Minister did?

chewy14 3:23 pm 03 Dec 09

Bluenomi said :

Glad I’m having my baby at Calvery…

You’re having your baby at a Calvery?

Cows are on teh internets now?

Bluenomi 3:00 pm 03 Dec 09

Glad I’m having my baby at Calvery…

amarooresident2 2:55 pm 03 Dec 09

If the guy was undiagnosed and no-one knew he had TB how were they supposed to stop him? Or was he coughing and all over the place?

54-11 2:29 pm 03 Dec 09

What I can’t understand is the way in which Katie Gallagher blithely and very condescendingly supported TCH’s policy on this. Surely she knew that there were risks to vulnerable babies in the antenatal unit, yet she treated the whole episode as being something of no concern.

Perhaps now Dr Guest and his cohorts in the hospital system will start to take the concerns of parents a lot more seriously and do something about these protocols. And perhaps our Health Minister will stop being so patronising and contemptuous of people’s legitimate complaints.

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