Pregnant woman died after tear in abdomen
Published 20/07/2016 | 02:30
A woman died after she sustained a tear in the abdominal aorta while undergoing surgery for an ectopic pregnancy at the National Maternity Hospital, an inquest was told.
Malak Kuzbary Thawley (35) of Brusna Cottages, Blackrock, Co Dublin, died on May 8.
She was seven weeks' pregnant at the time.
An inquest into the tragedy opened at Dublin Coroner’s Court to hear the post-mortem results.
Ms Thawley's husband Alan, who is from the United States and working in Dublin, was not present for the short hearing.
Dr Rhona Mahony, master of the hospital, sat in the public gallery. The Thawley family were represented by solicitor Caoimhe Haughey and senior counsel Liam Reidy.
Ms Thawley, a teacher who was originally from Syria, was told she needed urgent surgery after a scan found she had an ectopic pregnancy.
The inquest heard that Dr Charles Goh identified the woman's body to Garda James Verner of Pearse Street Garda Station on May 9, 2016.
A post-mortem was carried out the following day, May 10, by consultant pathologist Dr Thomas Crotty at St Vincent’s Hospital. Dr Crotty gave the cause of death as a tear in the abdominal aorta during the course of laparoscopic therapy due to an ectopic pregnancy in the right fallopian tube.
The hospital is carrying out an internal inquiry into the case and the report is now at an advanced stage.
Mr Reidy said the stated purpose of this internal inquiry was to establish the facts, identify ‘systems failures’ within the hospital and make recommendations to prevent any identifiable future risk.
"The National Maternity Hospital set up its own internal inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death with the stated purpose to identify systems failure within the hospital," Mr Reidy said.
Ms Thawley’s husband has requested all documentation from the hospital that the inquiry has generated to date but this has been refused.
"We have been denied access to that," Mr Reidy said. Barrister Simon Mills, for the hospital, said he did not accept that characterisation of matters and said the investigation was ongoing.