Doc­tors sent to pub for ice dur­ing ‘neg­li­gent’ surgery

Irish Examiner - - Front Page - Ann O’Lough­lin

Two doc­tors were sent from a hos­pi­tal to a pub to get ice to cool a wo­man’s brain dur­ing a surgery that was de­scribed in court as a “cas­cade of neg­li­gence”.

Alan Thaw­ley, whose wife MalakKuz bar yT haw­ley died dur­ing surgery for an ec­topic pregnancy at the Na­tional Ma­ter­nity Hos­pi­tal, Dublin, is su­ing in the High Court.

Mrs Thaw­ley, aged 34, a teacher and a US ci­ti­zen, was ex­pect­ing their first baby when she died at Holles Street on May 8, 2016.

Yes­ter­day, the High Court was told by Mr Thaw­ley’s coun­sel that what hap­pened was “one neg­li­gent act af­ter another”.

Liam Reidy said the sur­geon was an in­ex­pe­ri­enced ju­nior and was not su­per­vised. Coun­sel told the court how the in­ep­ti­tude was il­lus­trated by the fact that when the med­i­cal team de­cided to cool Mrs Thaw­ley’s brain with ice, there was none in the hos­pi­tal, so two doc­tors were sent to a pub. Coun­sel said Mr Thaw­ley, a data sci­en­tist, can­not get over his wife’s death and has “se­vere hope­less­ness”. Coun­sel said the sit­u­a­tion has caused a “cat­a­strophic dis­tur­bance” of Mr Thaw­ley’s psy­chi­atric well­be­ing and he is not likely to re­cover.

Mr Thaw­ley, aged 31. of Brusna Cot­tages, Black­rock, Dublin, sued the Na­tional Ma­ter­nity Hos­pi­tal Dublin over the death of his wife on May 8, 2016. Mr Thaw­ley also sued for ner­vous shock and claims his life with his late wife, to­gether with his plans for their fu­ture, have been an­ni­hi­lated.

Li­a­bil­ity is not at is­sue in the case, which is be­fore the court for as­sess­ment of dam­ages only.

Coun­sel said the cou­ple were re­as­sured it was a rou­tine pro­ce­dure, which would take 30 min­utes.

Mrs Thaw­ley was taken to the­atre at 4pm.

“Alan never saw her again,” coun­sel said.

A man whose wife died dur­ing surgery for an ec­topic pregnancy at the Na­tional Ma­ter­nity Hos­pi­tal, Dublin, has sued in the High Court.

Malak Thaw­ley, aged 34, was a teacher and a US ci­ti­zen who was ex­pect­ing her first baby with her hus­band, Alan, when she died at Holles St on May 8, 2016.

The High Court was told yes­ter­day by Mr Thaw­ley’s coun­sel what hap­pened was a “cas­cade of neg­li­gence”.

Ex­em­plary dam­ages are also be­ing sought in the case.

Liam Reidy said the doc­tor who car­ried out the surgery was an in­ex­pe­ri­enced ju­nior sur­geon and was not su­per­vised. Coun­sel told the court the en­tire process at the hos­pi­tal was in­ept, il­lus­trated by the fact that when they de­cided to cool Mrs Thaw­ley’s brain with ice, two doc­tors were sent across the road to a pub to get ice as there was none in the hos­pi­tal.

Mr Thaw­ley, aged 31, of Brusna Cot­tages, Black­rock, Dublin, has sued the Na­tional Ma­ter­nity Hos­pi­tal Dublin over the death of his wife. It is claimed that Ms Thaw­ley suf­fered a lac­er­a­tion to the sur­face of her aorta and there was com­plete mis­man­age­ment of the ma­jor vas­cu­lar in­jury and Ms Thaw­ley’s de­te­ri­o­rat­ing con­di­tion, cul­mi­nat­ing in the loss of op­por­tu­nity to save her life and her even­tual and avoid­able demise.

It is also claimed there was a fail­ure to have vas­cu­lar clamps avail­able on site for emer­gen­cies and a fail­ure to have a red phone in­stalled in the­atre for emer­gen­cies. It is fur­ther claimed that Ms Thaw­ley’s life was un­ac­cept­ably en­dan­gered dur­ing the op­er­a­tive pro­ce­dure and her death oc­curred as a re­sult of the in­jury in­flicted upon her and the mis­man­age­ment of the in­jury af­ter­wards.

Mr Thaw­ley has also sued for ner­vous shock, and claims that his whole life and hap­pi­ness with his late wife have been an­ni­hi­lated.

Li­a­bil­ity is not at is­sue in the case which is be­fore the court for as­sess­ment of dam­ages only.

Mr Reidy said the Thaw­leys had been happy and ex­cited when she be­came preg­nant. As a sur­prise gift, her hus­band had ar­ranged a scan at six weeks. At the scan, they were told to go to Holles St for ad­vice about the ec­topic pregnancy.

Coun­sel said it was a Sun­day and an ul­tra­sound at Holles St con­firmed the ec­topic pregnancy.

Mr Thaw­ley re­searched ec­topic pregnancy and had seen it could be treated with cer­tain medicines, but coun­sel said he was told that be­cause the foetal sac had a heart­beat, the only op­tion was a sur­gi­cal in­ter­ven­tion.

Coun­sel said that, to this day, Mr Thaw­ley re­grets the de­ci­sion to fol­low this ad­vice, but the cou­ple were re­as­sured it was a rou­tine 30-minute pro­ce­dure.

Ms Thaw­ley was taken to the­atre at 4pm.

“Alan never saw her again,” coun­sel said.

At 5.30pm, a nurse told him a lot of blood was found

in the ab­domen and, at 6.30pm, a doc­tor came to him and he was told his wife had lost 10 units of blood “but they were deal­ing with it”.

Coun­sel said Mr Thaw­ley felt he was not be­ing given the full pic­ture.

At 7.30pm, the master of the Na­tional Ma­ter­nity Hos­pi­tal, Rhona Ma­hony, came

to him and told him the sit­u­a­tion was very se­ri­ous and doc­tors were do­ing ev­ery­thing they could.

“She said there is a chance your wife could die. About 20 min­utes later, she re­turned with a spe­cial­ist sur­geon and said ‘Malak is dead’.”

Coun­sel said Mr Thaw­ley was told a tro­car had been in­serted in the ab­domen and it had torn the aorta.

Mr Reidy said Mr Thaw­ley re­mem­bered say­ing “are you telling me it was a mis­take?” and the sur­geon said: “Yes, it was med­i­cal mis­ad­ven­ture.”

When Mr Thaw­ley re­turned to Holles St the next day, coun­sel said Dr Ma­hony told him all surgery had risks and what had hap­pened was an ac­ci­dent.

Mr Thaw­ley spoke to a rel­a­tive who was a sur­geon abroad and coun­sel said Mr Thaw­ley came to the con­clu­sion that what hap­pened was not an ac­ci­dent.

Coun­sel said Mr Thaw­ley felt em­bit­tered that the master of the hos­pi­tal had not said the sit­u­a­tion was mis­man­aged and said sorry but told him what hap­pened was an ac­ci­dent.

The case con­tin­ues on Tues­day.

Malak Kuzbary Thaw­ley was ex­pect­ing her first baby with hus­band Alan when she died at Holles Street hos­pi­tal.

Pic­ture: CourtPix

Alan Thaw­ley, whose wife Malak lost her life un­der­go­ing emer­gency surgery at the Na­tional Ma­ter­nity Hos­pi­tal in Holles Street, Dublin, at the High Court in Dublin yes­ter­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.