Annastacia Palaszczuk Opens Up About Miscarriage Amid Review Into Woman’s Care At QLD Hospital

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks during a press conference
CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses pregnancy loss.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has opened up about a “horrific” pregnancy loss, a day after a review was ordered into the hospital treatment a woman received following a miscarriage.

Nikkole Southwell was allegedly forced to sit in a waiting room at Ipswich Hospital with her unborn baby in a biohazard bag after she suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks.

The 24-year-old told the Courier Mail she was treated in a hospital room with curtains smeared with another person’s blood, and that staff used her partner’s phone torch to examine her.

“I lost my baby and my dignity was taken,” Southwell told the newspaper.

“I felt like my baby meant nothing while it sat in the top of my handbag in a biohazard bag for all to see.”

Health Minister Shannon Fentiman has ordered a review into Southwell’s harrowing experience.

On Thursday, Palaszczuk told Today the care the young woman received was “not acceptable”, and said she would be “personally involved” in improving clinical guidelines for women who have miscarriages.

“It is horrific and stays with you for the rest of your life,” she said.

“I had it in my house and I went to work. I was completely in shock and then I thought I’d better see my specialist and he said ‘I don’t think you should be at work, you should be at home’.

“This was many, many years ago, before I was a politician, but I know the trauma that women go through and it is heartbreaking.

“It is very hurtful and you’re in shock and you don’t know what to do.”

West Moreton Health chief executive Hannah Bloch told the Courier Mail the internal review into the care Southwell received at Ipswich Hospital will take at least 30 days, with recommendations expected to be publicly released.

Image credit: Getty Images / Matt Roberts