DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — A midwife working at the Dawson Creek Hospital had her credentials removed and has been barred from reapplying for her license for five years for providing poor care to a pregnant woman whose infant later died.
Karin Gerlach of Prince George voluntarily agreed to the terms with the British Columbia College of Nurses & Midwives (BCCNM), which were approved by a panel of inquiry on August 9th.
According to a BCCNM report, from August 10th to 11th, 2022, Gerlach did not consult a physician promptly when she noticed an abnormal fetal heart rate, lack of fetal movement, lack of fetal response to scalp stimulation and decreased amniotic fluid when caring for her pregnant patient.
Gerlach also did not properly communicate with the pregnant woman and her spouse about the concerns after she artificially ruptured the woman’s membranes and observed meconium in the amniotic fluid.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, meconium is a newborn’s first stool. It is a concern as the infant can inhale meconium and amniotic fluid into its lungs around the time of delivery, called meconium aspiration syndrome.
Gerlach did not adequately explain the infant’s condition before a transfer to a higher level of care, where the infant later passed away, according to the report.
The midwife also practiced outside her duties when she performed a bedside ultrasound and found decreased amniotic fluid volume.
Gerlach did not properly document the care provided to her patient, the BCCNM said.
If Gerlach reapplies for practicing registration in the future, she will be required to show the Registration Committee that she meets the fitness, competence and good character requirements.
The Inquiry Committee said it’s satisfied the terms will protect the public.