Monday 20 August 2018

Malak Thawley death: Holles Street's 'major emergency response' protocol now to be probed

Malak Thawley
Malak Thawley
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The readiness of the National Maternity Hospital in Holles St to respond to major emergencies when surgery is needed is to be probed in an inquiry into the death of Malak Thawley, it emerged today.

The case, which involved the death of Ms Thawley (35) in May 2016 during an  emergency operation for ectopic pregnancy, will be investigated by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).

The terms of reference of the proposed inquiry which were published today will look at:

  • The implementation of early warning systems for the clinical management and recognition of a deteriorating patient
  • Practice of surgery outside of core working hours
  • The seniority of on-site clinical staff outside of core working hours
  • The on-call arrangements for senior staff outside of core working hours
  • The readiness of the hospital to respond to major emergencies which require surgical intervention.

The inquiry which was ordered by Health Minister Simon Harris follows a call by Ms Thawley’s husband Alan.

Malak and Alan Thawley on their wedding day
Malak and Alan Thawley on their wedding day

Ms Thawley died after a major blood vessel was accidentally pierced during the surgery.

The National Maternity Hospital has been granted a judicial review challenging the choice of Hiqa to carry out the inquiry.

It said it does not object to an outside probe but argues the Hiqa Section 9 investigation review may undermine clinical and public confidence and could be counter-productive in its effect on national maternity services outcomes to patients.

Hiqa said today the investigation will also take into account issues such as workforce, diagnostic and laboratory availability outside of core working hours.

Alan and Malak Thawley were expecting their first child
Alan and Malak Thawley were expecting their first child

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