Monday 19 November 2018

Tragic maternal death raises vital questions about the politicisation of healthcare system

Every hospital could be shut down if the patient safety logic in the Malak Thawley case was applied, writes Dearbhail McDonald

Tragedy: Malak Thawley
Tragedy: Malak Thawley
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

The death of Malak Thawley, who died at the National Maternity Hospital during an emergency laprascopic operation to treat an ectopic pregnancy, was and remains a profound tragedy for her husband Alan Thawley.

It was also, I imagine, a traumatic experience for the dedicated NMH staff who treated the young woman who died in their care.

Mrs Thawley (34) died on May 8, 2016, when a blood vessel was accidentally pierced during the emergency procedure. The next day the NMH, a major tertiary hospital relied on by women, infants and clinicians from all over the country, ordered an internal report which applied a scalpel to its own failings. The almost minute-by-minute report, which complied with HSE incident investigation guidelines, was reviewed by two independent external experts.

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