Four newborn babies in South Australia have died in the past month after coronavirus restrictions prevented them from being transferred to Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital for lifesaving treatment.
According to ABC News, Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital lacks the onsite cardiac treatment and external oxygenation machines that were necessary to perform the lifesaving cardiac surgery.
Under normal circumstances, the babies would have had an emergency transfer to Melbourne, however, Victoria’s stage-four lockdown prevented them from being flown interstate.
Four Newborns in Adelaide have died after being denied lifesaving heart surgery because it wasn't available in Adelaide, and they couldn't be transferred interstate because of travel restrictions. #9News pic.twitter.com/IFZsv9kq4k— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) October 20, 2020
The Australian reports: “With Melbourne under lockdown the distraught families of the infants were told that their children were not permitted to enter Victoria for the operations. And SA Health was also of the view that the babies should remain in Adelaide for fear of exposing them to the virus in Victorian hospitals as they were immunocompromised.”
The South Australian government has also been criticized for rejecting calls from medical specialists to establish a specialist paediatric cardiac service at the hospital, making them the only mainland state without that service.