Tuesday 28 January 2020

Woman died after abortion clinic 'sent her home despite vomiting and swaying'

Dr Adedayo Adedeji carried out the procedure on Mrs Chithira
Dr Adedayo Adedeji carried out the procedure on Mrs Chithira

Jack Hardy

A woman who travelled to England for a late-stage abortion was discharged from the clinic, despite vomiting and swaying so much she looked "drunk", an inquest has heard.

Aisha Chithira (31) died following a termination at a Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing, west London, on January 21, 2012.

She suffered a tear to her uterus during the procedure performed under anaesthetic, as a surgeon struggled to remove a 22-week-old foetus from a womb that had not fully dilated, the inquest was told.

Afterwards she vomited in a stairwell and complained of feeling unwell to her husband. She was helped into a taxi to a cousin's home in Slough by staff at the clinic. They had told her she could not stay overnight.

One of the nurses denied they had pressured her to leave because they wanted to go home.

Corinne Slingo, representing Marie Stopes, said: "The taxi driver says he saw his passenger walking out of the building. He was quite shocked, she didn't seem with it at all. She looked like she was drunk."

Ms Chithira's husband Ryan said he received a call at around 7.30pm as he cared for their daughter in Ireland.

"Aisha told me she had finished having the procedure and was going to get a taxi back to Slough," a statement said.

"She just said 'I cannot speak, I'm feeling too weak to speak' and then she ended the call."

He said that in the early hours, he received a phone call from Aisha's sister who "said someone had called her and Aisha was dead". She had suffered catastrophic internal bleeding.

Dr Adedayo Adedeji, who performed the procedure, and nurses Gemma Pullen and Margaret Miller were charged with manslaughter by gross negligence and a health and safety breach but the case was dropped in 2016.

Ms Pullen said she helped out on the ward after other staff left in the evening. Pressed on the taxi driver's description, she said: "That doesn't sound right to me. She was walking unaided, she wasn't swaying, she was walking normally."

She said she would not have placed her in the taxi, had she any additional concerns.

Dr Adedeji said they noticed the tear during surgery but it was not bleeding at the time.

Mrs Chithira, from Malawi but settled in Ireland, decided to have an abortion after miscarrying twins and then having a baby delivered by c-section, making her worry childbirth was too much of a risk.

West London Coroners Court is expected to continue hearing the case today.

Irish Independent

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