A coroner has ruled that there were ‘serious failings’ in the care of a mother who died from a haemorrhage just hours after giving birth in February
A coroner has ruled that there were ‘serious failings’ in the care of a mother who died from a haemorrhage just hours after giving birth in February last year. Gabriela Pintilie lost six litres of blood after the birth of a baby girl via cesarean section at Basildon University Hospital. With concerns growing about the NHS in the lead-up to Brexit, the ruling is a harsh blow to the hospital, which has already made changes to ensure the tragedy is not repeated.
Breakdown In Communication
Mrs Pintilie bled to death due to a breakdown in communication at the hospital, in which the doctors performing emergency surgery following the birth were not aware of the availability of blood and blood-clotting aids. Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray, speaking at the inquest at Essex Coroner’s Court, described a ‘situation of confusion’ during the emergency. She pointed out a lack of leadership, coordination and teamwork that could potentially have prevented Mrs Pintilie’s death.
Medical malpractice is a serious legal issue and courts hear hundreds of cases, with personal injury lawyer firms striving to find the truth behind cases like this and holding medical establishments responsible. Mrs Beasley-Murray drew attention to delays in care in Basildon University Hospital’s maternity ward, which led to a delay not only in carrying out the C-section, but in surgical management too.
Blood-Clotting Products Refused
Speaking at the inquest, anaesthetist Dr Tom Hall described how haematologist Asad Omran declined to issue more blood-clotting products that would have helped Mrs Pintilie. Mrs Beasley-Murray said the haematologist’s refusal was ‘completely at odds with guidelines,’ and the blood-clotting products should have been issued.
Stephanie Prior, partner at Osbornes Law, who represented Mrs Pintilie’s family, described the case as ‘one of the most shocking cases of unfathomable ineptitude’ she has seen as a solicitor. Although it is not certain that Mrs Pintilie would have survived had she been given the blood-clotting products, her chances of survival would have been much higher had she received the full range of treatment available.
Hospital Group Launches Independent Investigation
In a statement following the inquest, Mrs Pintilie’s husband, Ionel Pintilie, described that he had trusted the hospital to keep his wife safe. ‘I am so grateful for the doctors who tried to do this,’ he said, but continued to say that others had let the family down.
The mid and south Essex hospitals group has offered the family their condolences and apologies, and has commissioned their own independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mrs Pintilie’s death. The staff caring for Mrs Pintilie have been deeply affected by the tragedy, and the hospital are making changes to ensure this doesn’t happen to other patients.
While the individuals caring for Mrs Pintilie did all they could to ensure her safety, the poor communication and lack of leadership during the emergency caused a situation that could have been prevented. The hospital group are taking the situation very seriously, and it is hoped that these circumstances will not be repeated.