17 Dec 2018

Lactation consultant censured over tongue-tie operation

9:27 pm on 17 December 2018

Senior doctors' concern about tongue-tie operations performed on new born babies have been backed up by a report on the procedure that went dramatically wrong.

Breast feeding baby.

Breast feeding baby. Photo: 123RF

It details the case of a baby who suffered uncontrollable bleeding and had to be rushed to hospital after the procedure several years ago.

The report, which was released by the Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner today, said the parents of the baby were not properly informed of the risks beforehand.

The lactation consultant who performed the surgery, had not informed the parents of alternatives, nor the risk of significant blood loss, if the baby had not received a vitamin K injection, the report said.

The night of the surgery the baby was taken to hospital by ambulance and given a vitamin K injection after its parents were unable to control the bleeding from home.

The Deputy Commissioner recommended the Midwifery Council undertake a competency review of the consultant and that she write a letter of apology to the parents.

Senior doctors have recently spoken out about tongue-tie surgery calling it risky and unnecessary.

The ministry is currently assembling a team to produce guidelines for tongue-tie procedures.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs