Inquiry into death of newborn unable to determine cause

An inquiry into the death of a newborn child at Stettler Hospital was unable to determine how he died. Born a few week prematurely, at 36 weeks gestation, James Andrew Stahl died on Aug. 9, 2011, at 6:40 a.m., within 12 hours of his birth. A two-day public fatality inquiry was held on Sept. 19 and 20, 2013, in Stettler provincial court before Judge Jim Mitchell.

An inquiry into the death of a newborn child at Stettler Hospital was unable to determine how he died.

Born a few week prematurely, at 36 weeks gestation, James Andrew Stahl died on Aug. 9, 2011, at 6:40 a.m., within 12 hours of his birth.

A two-day public fatality inquiry was held on Sept. 19 and 20, 2013, in Stettler provincial court before Judge Jim Mitchell.

The final report to the minister of justice and the attorney general released on Wednesday said the medical cause of death was sudden unexplained death in infancy, but the manner is undeterminable.

Matilda Stahl, 31, was admitted to the Stettler hospital at 6:18 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2011. At 7:41 p.m., she gave birth to the child. At 6:41 a.m. the following morning, a nurse entered the mother’s private room and found the infant and the mother sharing the bed. Their was a space between the two. It was then that the infant was noted to be blue-coloured and no vital signs were apparent.

Attemps were made to resuscitate the infant but they were unsuccessful.

A post-mortem examination found the presence of two drugs: acetaminophen and quinine.

The medical examiner and toxicologist determined the acetaminophen was detected at a very low level and they felt its presence had no significance in the child’s death.

The quinine was not administered at the hospital and is not suggested to be administered to pregnant women. The examination determined the amount in the infant’s blood was low and the medical examiner could not rule out the possibility it may have contributed to the child’s death in some fashion.

There was no evidence presented to suggest co-sleeping. According to Alberta Office of the Medical Examiner, co-sleeping was a factor in 42 per cent of deaths classified as sudden infant death syndrome and was a factor in 74 per cent of the other deaths between 2005 and 2010. A total of 172 unexplained infant deaths were recorded in that time frame.

No recommendations were made in Mitchell’s report. However, it did say that, from testimony given, Alberta Health Services’ Safe Infant Sleep initiative is a positive, proactive effort to improve maternity care.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer teacher engages students with “cool” science experiments

On Thursday, he made fire dance to the beat of the music

Province purchases land for new Red Deer courthouse

Construction to begin in the fall of 2019

Parking costs in Red Deer are going up — so are parking tickets

City council raises parking rates by 25 per cent starting July 1

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month