Moncton hospital fires nurse over suspicions labour was induced without permission
The New Brunswick hospital that fired a nurse over suspicions that she gave patients a labour-inducing drug without permission says that they believe only two patients were affected.
In a news conference on Saturday, Moncton City Hospital chief of staff Dr. Ken Gillespie confirmed that the hospital had identified two cases of “inappropriate” Oxytocin use in their internal investigation.
“Our investigation at this point has identified these two patients, and these two patients alone,” Gillespie said.
Gillespie says that both mothers and their babies are doing well, and that both families have been notified about what took place.
The RCMP confirmed they are investigating.
“The RCMP received a complaint on March 27 from the Horizon Health Network involving an incident at the Moncton City Hospital. The investigation is ongoing,” the RCMP told CTV News in a statement.
Gillespie says that while other cases of emergency cesearean sections may seem related, the numbers are not unusual for a hospital of its size.
“When we look at our overall cesarean section rate, it’s comparable to other hospitals that do similar type of care, so we really haven’t noticed an increase,” Gillespie said.
Two weeks ago, a case requiring an emergency cesarean section raised suspicions that the mother had been given Oxytocin without a prescription. Those suspicions prompted the investigation.
Oxytocin is a drug regularly used in pregnancies to induce or speed up labour.
Gillespie said that regular usage requires a physician to prescribe the use of the drug before being administered by a nurse.
But the drug requires careful oversight from physicians, as misuse can potentially harm both mother and child. Serious side effects include rupture of the uterus, a very slow heart rate, or retinal hemorrhage in the baby.
A closer analysis of IV bags found tiny puncture marks and traces of Oxytocin. A review of security footage was also conducted. The nurse was fired not long after.
Gillespie says that women who gave birth in the hospital, regardless of time frame, are encouraged to reach out to the hospital with any questions.
With files from CTV Atlantic Bureau Chief Todd Battis.