On Sunday morning, Melanie and Alex Moir from NSW unexpectedly welcomed their son into the world after Melanie went into rapid labour. Alex described to TDA: “If the baby had come out healthy and happy, it would have been a great story and not too much stress, but our baby boy Ethan came out in not great condition.”
When born on their bathroom floor, Ethan was not breathing properly, not moving and was “white as a ghost”.
Melanie is a trained midwife and attempted to stimulate Ethan, however, nothing worked. In the meantime, Alex called triple zero.
Alex described to TDA: “The triple zero operator at the time was trying to be really supportive and helpful, but she wasn’t able to find an ambulance to dispatch.” Alex and Melanie then decided to drive themselves to a hospital as the operator was unable to provide an ETA on when an ambulance would be available.
“On the way [to the hospital], my wife was giving CPR to him, giving him breaths.” — Alex Moir speaking to TDA
When they arrived at the hospital, Ethan was considered a “code blue”, meaning he had to receive immediate life-saving care. He was placed on a ventilator and received blood transfusions. With the care, and over the course of several hours, Ethan’s condition improved and he eventually recovered.
According to Alex, his experience highlighted the pressure the healthcare system is currently facing. He added: “We actually don’t want an apology from NSW Ambulance service, we just want them to get the support they need.”
NSW Ambulance has begun an investigation into the incident, and apologised to Alex and Melanie. A spokesperson for the service noted it was experiencing “unprecedented demand”, as 5,120 triple zero calls were received the day before Ethan was born.
“It just seems like the health system isn’t coping and we just want to have more transparency around what support is being provided to healthcare workers and what more can be done to ensure they get the support they need to be able to provide the level of care that they want to. We just also really ask that this narrative of ‘the healthcare system is coping’ stops and we acknowledge the duress that it’s under.” — Alex Moir speaking to TDA