Pregnant woman died at Redbridge trust hospital after doctors mistakenly removed healthy ovary instead of appendix
PUBLISHED: 11:30 15 June 2013
Nigel Howard www.nigelhowardmedia.com Cell + 44 (0)7831 235235
Doctors missed a “window of opportunity” to save the life of a pregnant woman who died after her ovary was removed instead of her appendix.
An inquest last week at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court heard that Maria De Jesus, of Dagenham, died on the operating table at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, after a second operation to remove the appendix in 2011.
Coroner Chinyere Inyama said: “The absence of protocols for reporting adverse histopathological findings resulted in the loss of a window of opportunity to provide treatment to the deceased that could have affected the outcome.”
The 32-year-old was five months pregnant when she was admitted complaining of abdominal pain.
After being diagnosed with appendicitis, the inquest heard the operation was carried out by two trainee surgeons in the absence of a consultant surgeon, who removed her healthy ovary instead of her appendix.
She miscarried and died.
Averil Dongworth, chief executive of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospital Trust, which runs the hospital, admitted liability and apologised to the family.
She said an investigation has been carried out and she will be meeting Havering Healthwatch director Ian Buckmaster to discuss the investigation’s findings and ensure that “patients are never again put at risk”.
Ms Dongworth added: “I would once again like to apologise unreservedly to Mrs De Jesus’ family for their loss. We have admitted liability in this case. The staff involved in her care have been deeply affected by her death.
“An extensive trust-wide action plan was drawn up to ensure that such a tragic incident will not happen again. We have kept Mrs De Jesus’ family fully informed about the investigation and the subsequent wide-ranging work which has taken place to improve systems and patient safety.”
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