Monday 18 December 2017

'Pressure on services contributed to death of mother'

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

HUGE pressure on services in one of the country's main maternity hospitals contributed to the death of a 31-year-old mother.

The tragic incident was one of three patient deaths recorded in the 2010 annual report of the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin.

It is the highest number of patient deaths in a decade at the hospital.

Two of the deaths had nothing to do with the care they received in the hospital. But the third concerned the death of a woman whose baby was dead in the womb and who was due to attend the hospital for an induced labour procedure.

Dr Sam Coulter-Smith, Master of the Rotunda, told the Irish Independent that the case was classed as a "direct maternal death" and aspects of her management "related to the extreme activity levels in the hospital" contributed to her death. Earlier this week, Dr Coulter-Smith warned "resources were so stretched" that he feared that a bad outcome was a real possibility.

Although the woman is not named it is understood she was Bimbo Onanuga, from Nigeria. Ms Onanuga was previously the subject of an unpublished report, and the precise circumstances of her death have not previously been disclosed.

However, the annual report reveals she had a scan at the hospital when 28-weeks pregnant and this showed her baby had died in the womb. She was due to return for an induced labour but the day before her outpatient appointment she collapsed with a ruptured uterus. The stillborn baby was delivered by emergency caesarean as staff struggled in vain to resuscitate her.


The other two patient deaths include a 39-year-old woman who was involved in a road traffic accident and a mother who gave birth safely in the Rotunda but died in another hospital three months later of a brain haemorrhage.

The report showed the hospital delivered 8,792 babies in 2010 but this is set to soar to 9,200 this year.

The rate of caesarean section fell slightly to 27.9pc of mothers compared to 28.5pc the previous year. Dr Coulter-Smith said this was partly due to the hospital introducing extra on-call doctors in the labour ward.

Irish Independent

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