Father concerned fired Moncton Hospital nurse could have impacted daughter’s birth
A Moncton man is speaking out with concerns that his wife may have been another victim of the nurse who was fired over allegations of inappropriately administering oxytocin, a labour-inducing drug, at Moncton Hospital.
Jeremy Beaulieu’s daughter, Jemma, is 10 months old. He says he’s thankful his daughter is alive after a terrifying experience when his wife gave birth.
“When they hooked her up to the IV, just the IV, it was 14 minutes in between then and when the nurse had put her back on the baby monitor, and there was no heartbeat,” Beaulieu said.
He says his wife experienced strong contractions and had to deliver their first baby together by way of an emergency caesarean section.
Those elements — “a strong and sustained contraction of the uterus associated with a low fetal heartbeat” — are the experiences Horizon Health Network is looking to hear about, Moncton Hospital’s chief of staff says.
Patients who believe they’ve been impacted can call 1-844-225-0220.
Beaulieu’s wife gave birth at the city hospital in May, and he had a strange feeling about it at the time.
“We were told (the birth) probably wouldn’t happen that evening,” he said. “Tiffany (My wife) was on a baby monitor. Everything was fine, heartbeat was perfect.”
But things progressed quickly, he says.
“The doctor was checking to see if the cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck, which it wasn’t,” Beaulieu said. “She was also checking the baby, if it was moving. It was not so she told us we were going right to the OR for an emergency C-section.”
When Horizon Health Network confirmed a nurse was fired for inappropriately using a labour-inducing drug — oxytocin — the Beaulieus questioned if they, too, were victims of the nurse’s alleged actions.
He has a meeting set up with the health network and will be requesting all records and charts regarding his daughter’s birth.
“When we went to the OR, I didn’t know at that point whether I would lose my baby, my wife or both,” he said.
John McKiggan, a Halifax-based lawyer and a founder of Birth Injury Lawyers Alliance of Canada, has been retained by dozens of mothers and families looking for answers to the same question.
“What we know now leads me and my colleagues to believe that there are grounds for litigation,” he said in an interview with Global News. “I think it’s quite clear that the facts that we have so far indicate potential liability.”
The nurse was employed by the hospital for over a decade, McKiggan says, and the law firm is working to determine if it will proceed with a class-action lawsuit or individual claims.
He says Horizon should investigate every birth this nurse was involved in during their tenure.
“This is an astonishing case… I’ve been doing this for about 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” McKiggan said.
He says that while a lot of the spotlight has been put on mothers and the potential risk to them, there’s also a concern for the babies involved.
“It’s well known that oxytocin overdosing can cause difficulties with oxygenation to the fetal brain, and that can cause brain injuries,” McKiggan said.
Beaulieu says he’s contacting the law firm and hopes to learn more when he meets with an OB-GYN at the hospital.
“I want the questions answered,” he said. “Her blood work… I want to know what was in her blood.”
Until then, though, he’s left wondering if his family was, indeed, a victim of the allegations.
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