NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner is facing calls to resign after it emerged that she attended a theatre awards ceremony after a fatal mix-up at a Bankstown hospital.
One baby has died and another left with brain damage after they were wrongly given nitrous oxide instead of oxygen.
Sonya Ghanem gave birth what she says was a healthy baby boy however just 57 minutes after he was born on July 13, he died after he was mistakenly given nitrous oxide (often known as ‘happy gas’) instead of oxygen.
The mother-of-three said she had been to the hospital for all three of her other children. However, immediately something felt different this time.
With no beds available, Ghanem says she spent eight hours in labour in the hospital waiting room, reports The Australian. After finally being admitted, she underwent an emergency c-section.
When she woke from the general anesthetic she was told her son had died.
"I held my baby, they [brought] him to me at the hospital," she told Channel Nine.
"I said 'I want to see him'. Just looking at him, shaking. 'My son, wake up', I would tell him. 'Wake up, wake up. What did they do to you?'"
"Coming out of the hospital holding a capsule. I had nothing in my hand, I came empty handed thinking I’d hold my newborn. But no."
Another baby born in June remains in hospital fighting for his life with reported brain damage after a similar mix-up saw him administered nitrous oxide.
It wasn’t until the second incident resulting in death that a paediatrician at the hospital raised concerns.
Both families were informed this weekend of the mix up.
"We just got a call saying, 'we need to talk to you as soon as possible'," Chantal told The Australian.
"There’s some new information about the care your baby was given."
"They said ‘it’s basically our fault’. I lost it when they said that. I just wanted to kill them."
Ms Skinner has defended her handling of the issue and rejected calls from the State Opposition for her resignation, saying that investigations were underway.