Doctors sent to pub for ice during ‘negligent’ surgery
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.
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.