RFDS and babies

Graphic: RFDS and babies

WA Flying Doctor team delivers baby girl at Merredin Hospital

Date published

11 Mar 2022

Pregnant mum June Woods was returning home to Perth on the Prospector Train when she began experiencing contractions earlier than expected.

Shauna and baby

With more than three hours until the train was due to arrive in Perth, an ambulance was called to take June to Merredin Hospital for treatment. Our Kalgoorlie RFDS crew was then tasked to collect the priority patient in labour and bring her to King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth.

Our team quickly swung into action, flying to Merredin Hospital from Kalgoorlie for the retrieval, a 330km journey that would've taken three and a half hours by road.

"It wasn't an easy flight with low clouds, but our star pilot Jimmy managed to find a gap in the cloud cover to land us safely in Merredin to help out," Dr Anoop recalled.

When qualified RFDS midwife Shauna assessed June upon the crew’s arrival at the hospital, it was clear the labour was progressing fast. A decision was made to help mum deliver the baby right there and then, with our crews and hospital staff working together as a team to safely deliver the baby.

Just 15 minutes after our crew arrived, June gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.

Graphic: Dr Anoop Pem

"All credit to our Flight Nurse Shauna who was our team leader and delivered a healthy baby," Dr Anoop said.

The team then transferred June and her baby back to Kalgoorlie for care at the maternity ward.

The next day Shauna checked on June at Kalgoorlie Hospital and found out she’d chosen ‘Shauna’ for the baby’s middle name.

“I was at a loss for words at first, it is such an honour and privilege,” Shauna said.

The past 12 months have been extremely busy for the RFDS, with all our teams working hard to meet the increased demand for retrievals across the State.

 No day is ever the same. As our crews are tasked to some of WA’s most remote places, they need to have the expertise and ability to retrieve a variety of patients.

Last year the RFDS responded to 414 pregnant patients and assisted a further 125 patients in premature labour, making it critical to have qualified midwives on our teams.