Death of baby unresolved

By Alanah Eriksen, Alanah May Eriksen

The mother of a 3-day-old girl who died after a doctor prescribed her paracetamol for flu and sent her home, says a meeting with the medical centre he worked for has failed to resolve anything.

Nicole Kahaki said White Cross medical centre staff told her on Monday the doctor was happy with his diagnosis of her daughter, Patience Kahaki.

Chief executive Alistair Sullivan told the Herald the Henderson centre had started an internal investigation into the infant's care and her death, but yesterday would not comment on the meeting because of patient confidentiality.

Patience was born prematurely on April 4, but Ms Kahaki took her from Waitakere Hospital that day after doctors gave the all-clear.

But two days later the child started refusing to feed and was constantly crying, so her mother took her to the medical centre.

Ms Kahaki says a doctor told her not to worry, that her daughter had the flu, and gave the child paracetamol and saline solution, but Patience died in Starship children's hospital hours later.

She wants to know why the doctor at White Cross did not pick up on her daughter's condition and wants him held accountable.

"It feels like she never existed and she's been swept under the carpet," she said.

"My daughter was not a figment of my imagination. I'm not hurting for nothing."

She believes that if she had been told to take Patience to a hospital immediately, her baby would still be alive.

The death is still before Auckland coroner Murray Jamieson, who is awaiting autopsy results before deciding whether an inquest is needed.

Starship records say Patience had a heart murmur but do not state a cause of death, Ms Kahaki said. "I'm suffering here every day. I get up in the mornings and I'm crying."

On Thursday, Ms Kahaki also consulted the Health and Disability Advocacy Service, which advised her to speak to the centre.

- NZ Herald

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