Doctor fined after baby death at Rockingham hospital

Cameron Coles and Mickaila Young with Chloe.
Cameron Coles and Mickaila Young with Chloe.

AN obstetrician was found guilty of unsatisfactory professional performance and fined $2000 by the State Administrative Tribunal after one of his patients delivered a stillborn baby at Rockingham General Hospital.

The Medical Board of Australia alleged there was proper cause for disciplinary action against Ross Douglas Jose in his management of the obstetric delivery of Mickaila Joy Young, of Safety Bay, in November last year.

Miss Young was pregnant with her first baby and was admitted to the hospital on October 30, complaining of backache and lower abdominal cramping for the previous two days. A cardiotocography (a CTG records foetal heartbeat and uterine contractions) was performed and was reported as reactive. Miss Young was discharged.

On November 5, 2014, Dr Jose reviewed Miss Young in his rooms for a routine antenatal consultation.

The next day Miss Young attended the hospital at 10.25am complaining of reduced foetal movements. She had a number of CTGs over the course of the day.

An ultrasound at 4.07pm reported normal foetal movements. Later that evening a third CTG was “sinister” and a specialist obstetrician was called.

Miss Young was transferred to theatre for a caesarean at 9.30pm and her baby was stillborn. The precise cause of death remains unclear, despite an autopsy.

The Medical Board alleged Dr Jose failed to identify one of the CTGs held between 10.37am and 12.25pm as abnormal or indicating foetal compromise.

The board claimed following Dr Jose’s consultation with Miss Young at 1.15pm, he should have contacted a consultant obstetrician to urgently review Miss Young to consider whether delivery was necessary.

The board alleged when Dr Jose was contacted by a midwife, who reported Miss Young’s CTG was non-reactive with reduced variability at 3pm, Dr Jose failed to examine Miss Young or contact a consultant obstetrician for an urgent review.

Dr Jose admitted these allegations, as well as not maintaining adequate clinical notes or completing an adequate handover of Miss Young’s care to the consultant obstetrician, who he called in to take over Miss Young’s care. The tribunal said Dr Jose should be reprimanded and supervisory conditions placed on his registration. He must also undergo training. Dr Jose was ordered to pay $17,000 in costs.

See also Mother’s grief