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Child death review in Alberta shows pregnant woman prescribed 5,000 pills

EDMONTON — Alberta’s child advocate is demanding changes in social services and health care following an infant’s death in 2012.

The cause of death of the two-week-old girl was undetermined but her mother, who had other children in foster care, had been abusing prescription drugs while pregnant.

The child advocate found that during her pregnancy, 11 doctors had prescribed the woman nearly 5,000 pills — most were refills that didn’t require a doctor’s appointment.

The advocate’s report says the woman’s primary doctor wasn’t aware of her pregnancy and an obstetrician didn’t know she was taking drugs.

The mother and baby were released from hospital by another doctor who also wasn’t aware of the drug abuse.

The report calls for better information sharing among agencies and a multi-service response to dealing with families of at-risk children.

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