A 'traumatised' doctor has spoken out about the horrific case of trying desperately to save the life of a woman who had fatal complications during a homebirth.
Doctor Adam Pendlebury told Melbourne Magistrates Court he applied stitches to a tear Caroline Lovell sustained giving birth and inserted a medical balloon designed to stop incessant bleeding.
But tragically it was too late and he could not save the woman – the doctor is not accused of any wrongdoing.
The two midwives who were guiding the homebirth, Gaye Demanuele and Melody Bourne, are now fighting criminal charges of causing death by failing to provide adequate care.
The 36-year-old mum gave birth to a healthy baby girl but sadly died just 24 hours after going into labour.
Lovell went into cardiac arrest which was triggered by bleeding from a tear she sustained while giving birth, called a post-partum haemorrhage, says prosecutors.
It is alleged by police that the midwives did not examine Ms Lovell after the birth and her injuries were not reported, news.com.au reports.
They also allege that the midwives did not call an ambulance promptly enough when she lost consciousness.
Dr Pendlebury treated the dying mother when she arrived at Austin Hospital, the court heard.
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He told the court it was “probably the most traumatic case of my entire career”.
There was little prospect of recovery when the doctor saw her in hospital, he told the court.
“Post-partum management of a woman who has delivered a baby is almost all focused around the prevention of post-partum haemorrhage, and perhaps monitoring for (another condition),” he said.
“They are the major principles of obstetric management.
“The safe way of managing a patient is to assume they’ve had a haemorrhage.
“Unless you exclude that, patients die.”
It is understood that Ms Lovell chose a homebirth for her second child as she was unhappy with how the elements of her care were during the birth of her first child in hospital.
Dr Pendlebury will continue giving evidence on Friday.
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