Life-Saving Resuscitation For Portland Baby

Kirby Falcone with beautiful baby boy Darcy
Thursday, 16 November 2017
Friday the 13th is an unlucky day for many people; for Kirby Falcone it was the day Portland District Health (PDH) staff saved her baby.

A month later as baby Darcy continues to make good progress, Mrs Falcone has praised the PDH staff that helped her through an emergency birth and revived her baby.

Doctors and midwives at PDH performed extensive life-saving resuscitation on Darcy while obstetrician Dr Yasser Diab cared for Mrs Falcone who had suffered a major bleed after giving birth.

Mrs Falcone had planned to deliver her first baby at Warrnambool Base Hospital as she had Placenta Previa, a condition that would make her bleed easily during pregnancy and labour leading to a Caesarean birth. As a second level birthing unit, PDH is not equipped to regularly deal with such a birth.

Mrs Falcone had suffered a bleed at 30 weeks in the pregnancy and was taken to Melbourne as a precaution. Eight weeks later on Friday October 13 as Mrs Falcone was getting ready for bed, she experienced another bleed.

I rang Warrnambool and they said to go to PDH to check if I was able to travel across.

After she arrived at the PDH Urgent Care Centre, midwives Tahnee Robinson and Tori Panteleeva was called to assist, and immediately called in support, including obstetrician Dr Yasser Diab, additional midwives and anaesthetist Dr Geoff Hool.

The baby wouldn't have survived the trip to Warrnambool,Ms Panteleeva said.If we'd waited another five or 10 minutes it might have been a different outcome.

With the baby’s heart rate dropping and with the impact of the bleeding, Mrs Falcone and her husband Daniel were told to prepare for the worst.

I'd had the bleed at 30 weeks, but I felt totally different this time; it was like I was going to faint when I went to emergency, she said.

I was a bit sceptical about delivering in Portland because I knew they don't normally deal with these types of deliveries. But they said another 10 minutes and it could have been a different story. We didn't have the option of going to Warrnambool.

Dr Diab had warned us he might not make it because his heart rate kept dropping. It was hard because I knew I'd be knocked out but Daniel would be waiting.

Mrs Falcone was put under a general anaesthetic about 10.15pm and Darcy was born at 10.35pm.

She awoke about 11.30pm to get the good news that her baby had survived.

They told me that they worked on him; but didn't go in great detail, and I know they were working on me because I'd had another bleed after delivery.

Speaking on behalf of the staff involved, Ms Panteleeva said it had been a case of 'all hands on deck' to deal with the emergency.

Experienced midwife Linda Bowman was called in to assist and the nursing staff from North Ward quickly prepared Mrs Falcone for the operating theatre. They were joined by Dr Diab, who was not on shift but was able to attend within five minutes.

It was very intense but a very good outcome, Ms Panteleeva said. We had no file or information about her care but we realised the risk factors were potentially life threatening.

The baby was in a very dangerous position; its heartbeat dropped dramatically and the mother was bleeding heavily. We were extremely concerned and there was not enough time to get to Warrnambool.

Darcy had lost his heartbeat when born and required extensive resuscitation and cardiac massage by the midwives while Dr Diab controlled Mrs Falcone’s condition and anaesthetist Dr Hool assisted with the resuscitation.

We had to deal with very complicated things simultaneously, Ms Panteleeva said. It was not just resuscitation; he had lost a lot of blood and we had difficulty stabilising the oxygen.

PDH CEO Chris Giles said the said it was a great team effort.

From the moment it was identified that we were dealing with an obstetric emergency, everyone worked together very quickly and professionally, Ms Giles said.

That sentiment is echoed by the proud parents.

I cannot say how highly I think of all the staff, the midwives and others off the general ward who went in and helped were all amazing, Mrs Falcone said.

Darcy and Mrs Falcone are both doing well. Born 2.9kg, he is now putting on weight and keeping good health.

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