herald

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Mother expecting first child dies in emergency surgery at Holles Street

Malak Kuzbary Thawley, a teacher from Syria, with her American husband Alan
Malak Kuzbary Thawley, a teacher from Syria, with her American husband Alan

An expectant mother died while undergoing emergency surgery at the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street.

Malak Kuzbary Thawley (34), a teacher from Syria who was living with her American husband Alan in Dublin, was overjoyed to be seven weeks pregnant with her first child.

But on May 8 she discovered she had an ectopic pregnancy and doctors advised her she would need to undergo emergency surgery.

During the surgery she developed a vascular injury and died on Sunday evening in the operating theatre of the maternity hospital.

Comment

The hospital confirmed last night that it had launched an internal investigation.

A spokesman said: "Every maternal death is a deeply tragic event and as always our thoughts are with the loved ones of the deceased.

"As with all maternal deaths this case is subject to the coroner's process and the hospital is unable to make any comment."

Ms Thawley's solicitor Caoimhe Haughey said last night that Alan Thawley has returned to be with his family in the United States, and is distraught at losing his wife.

Ms Haughey said she is unhappy with the panel of obstetricians who are reviewing the case, most of whom work at Holles Street.

She also criticised the delay in securing medical records, and said they were the subject of considerable correspondence over a number of weeks, when she was told by the hospital they were with the coroner's office.

The couple were together for a decade, and had been living in Ireland where Mr Thawley worked in computing.

Mrs Thawley had a scan around lunchtime at a private Dublin clinic on May 8 where she was told she had an ectopic pregnancy.

This happens when a fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes, and is almost never viable.

She was sent to the maternity hospital without delay.

An ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening if the fallopian tube splits. The tube must be repaired as soon as possible.

Ms Haughey said she believed that Mrs Thawley asked about taking medication that could speed up a miscarriage.

However, the doctors said she needed surgery - and she was brought to theatre at the hospital.

Mrs Thawley's medical notes record a vascular injury.

Ms Haughey said medical opinion is that this can potentially be repaired.

However, she died at 7.57pm.

The review will examine what kind of medical treatment she got after the injury.

She remained in the maternity unit and was attended to by specialists in acute care.

The review is expected to report in 45 days.

Ms Haughey said Mr Thawley received great support from staff from the Association for Improvements in Maternity Services.

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