herald

Sunday 25 September 2016

Second maternal death recorded by top hospital

Malak Kuzbary Thawley and her husband Alan
Malak Kuzbary Thawley and her husband Alan

A second maternal death has been recorded this year by one of the country's major maternity hospitals, the Herald has learned.

The Coombe Hospital in Dublin confirmed yesterday that a pregnant woman who had been in its care died in another hospital that has not been named.

The tragic news comes after the death of Malak Kuzbary Thawley (34) at the National Maternity Hospital in Holles St on May 8, when she was having emergency surgery for an ectopic pregnancy.

A spokesman for the Coombe said a maternal death is classified as the death of a patient for whom the hospital has accepted medical responsibility, during pregnancy or within six weeks of delivery.

Most deaths of women transferred to other hospitals relate to an underlying health condition rather than an obstetric failure. It is practice that a review is carried out into all maternal deaths.

Meanwhile, the Herald has learned that it took nearly an hour-and-half for a heavily-pregnant haemorrhaging woman to get to Cavan maternity hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning after calling an ambulance. The woman was in a life-threatening condition when she arrived at Cavan hospital at 3.21am on Sunday.

Her baby did not survive and the woman, who was administered medical treatment, is recovering.

The HSE confirmed yesterday that the ambulance service received a 999 call at 1.57am on Sunday morning to go the Bailieboro area of Cavan.

Triggered

The call was triaged, using recognised protocols and standards of the advanced medical priority dispatch system. The nearest available ambulance was dispatched to the call from Castleblaney and he arrived at the woman's house at 2.31am.

The woman received out-of-hospital emergency care at the scene and was taken to Cavan maternity unit where she arrived at 3.21am. The length of time it took the woman to reach the hospital is expected to form part of a review into her care. A second investigation is also under way at Cavan into the death of a day-old baby who had been delivered by Caesarean section.

Health Minister Simon Harris said yesterday he expected to receive preliminary reports on both deaths shortly.

The delay in completing reviews into previous baby deaths at Cavan - some dating back to 2012 - was raised in the Dail yesterday.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said only one of those investigations has been completed and two others were at "an advanced stage", but added: "if an independent outside review is necessary, well, then that can happen."

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