Four Australian newborns have died after being denied lifesaving heart surgery and a transfer due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, according to 9News Australia.
It happened in the city Adelaide, where the the equipment needed to do lifesaving heart surgery doesn’t exist and the emergency transfers to Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital was not possible due to the travel restrictions created by the pandemic, according to 9News in Australia.
Four Newborns in Adelaide have died after being denied lifesaving heart surgery because it wasn’t available in Adelaide, and they couldn’t be transferred interstate because of travel restrictions. #9News pic.twitter.com/IFZsv9kq4k
— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) October 20, 2020
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Adelaide is reportedly the only capital city in the country that doesn’t have its own “cardiac treatment or external oxygenation machines (ECMOs) available for babies and children,” per ABC Australia.
Authorities have requested urgent action following the babies deaths to purchase an ECMO for the Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital
“How many more deaths of babies and young children will staff be forced to endure before the Minister for Health [Stephen Wade] cuts across this unnecessary procrastination?” Professor John Svigos shared of the move he said the hospital’s board needed to approve 18 months ago when it was presented.
“We spend $5 million a year transferring patients,” he added. “It would cost about $6 million to set it up and then $1 million a year to run it.”
“The death of any patient is extremely distressing to all of us and to all of our staff here at the network,” Women’s and Children’s Hospital chief executive Lindsey Gough shared.
“We do take it very seriously and I want to reassure all of the public that our services here are safe and of a high-quality standard,” she added.
The hospital’s medical director of the division of medicine, Gavin Wheaton, admitted if the hospital had an ECMO “in some cases, it may change the outcome.”
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