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B.C. midwife stripped of credentials after infant's death

BC midwife loses registration over tragic failure to 'consult a physician in a timely manner'
An ultrasound device at a B.C. health facility.

A B.C. midwife has been stripped of her credentials after she failed to properly communicate the health of a newborn who passed away shortly after birth.

The incident dates back to Aug. 10 and 11, 2022, when Karin Gerlach was working with a pregnant patient in Dawson Creek, B.C. as she gave birth, according to a consent agreement released by the B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives this week.

Gerlach was found to have failed to assess her pregnant patient “in a timely manner” after the patient reported that “no fetal movement” and instruments monitoring fetal heart tracing came back as “atypical.”

“Ms. Gerlach did not consult a physician in a timely manner when confronted with a concerning clinical picture…” the inquiry committee wrote, adding

That clinical picture included abnormal fetal heart tracing, lack of fetal movement, lack of fetal response to scalp stimulation, and decreased amniotic fluid, stated the consent agreement.

Gerlach also did not properly explain to the pregnant person or her spouse how the concerning clinical situation was developing after she “artificially ruptured the pregnant persons membranes and observed meconium in the amniotic fluid.”

The college said the former Prince George midwife failed to properly document the care she provided to the pregnant mother, describing it as “inadequate.”

“Specifically, she did not clearly or adequately provide information about the infant's condition prior to a transfer to a higher level of care where the infant later passed away,” stated the consent agreement.

Gerlach voluntarily agreed to have her midwife registration cancelled. She will be prohibited from reapplying for five years