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Posted on 18th October 2016

Mother dies following caesarean

A mother died after losing three litres of blood when her twins were delivered by caesarean section.

Estelle O’Sullivan, 37, had a condition which prevented her blood from clotting properly. An inquest heard that she should’ve been given a massive blood transfusion.

Coroner Peter Bedford heard that there was a series of mistakes and confusion about her condition.

The inquest heard that an emergency call button in the delivery room at Wexham Park hospital didn’t work and a nurse had to run to get help.

When Ms O’Sullivan suffered a cardiac arrest on the operating table, the defibrillator was low on battery power.

The medical notes from the incident showed that the wrong type of blood was written on her records and her specialists fluids were given to the wrong patient.

Sister Debbie Simpkin made notes throughout the operation. Her notes showed there was a message to the blood bank to stand down on the large transfusion.

A French study found that women are three times more likely to die during caesarean than a vaginal birth. This is due to blood clots, infections and complication from anaesthesia.

Doctors were unable to answer the coroner’s questions about the delivery of platelets and the wrong type of blood being ordered. Dr Ndubueze Anyaebunga treated Ms O’Sullivan and told the inquest: “I don’t think the severe blood loss was underestimated. You have to cut the anterior placenta to deliver the baby. She had lost nearly a litre of blood.”

Between 2011 and 2013 there were 214 maternal deaths that were linked, either directly or indirectly, to pregnancy. Haemorrhage accounted for less than 1 in every 100,000 deaths in childbirth.

Ms O’Sullivan’s inquest continues.

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