Pregnant woman died due to tear in abdomen during surgery, inquest hears

A 35 year old pregnant woman died due to a tear in the abdomen during the course of laparoscopic surgery for an ectopic pregnancy, an inquest has heard. 

Malak Kuzbary Thawley, of Brusna Cottages, Blackrock, Co Dublin died on May 8 2016 at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin.

A short inquest into the woman’s death opened at Dublin Coroner’s Court before Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane.

The woman’s husband, Alan Thawley was not present in court but was represented by Senior Counsel Liam Reidy. Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street sat in the public gallery.

Ms Thawley, a teacher, was originaly from Syria and was expecting her first baby with her husband, Alan Thawley. She was seven weeks pregnant when a scan identified an ectopic pregnancy.

The inquest heard that Dr Charles Goh identified the woman’s body to Garda James Verner of Pearse St Garda Station on May 9 2016. A post mortem was carried out the following day, May 10, by Consultant Pathologist Dr Thomas Crotty at St Vincent’s Hospital.

Dr Crotty gave the cause of death as a tear in the abdomen during the course of laparoscopic therapy due to an ectopic pregnancy in the right fallopian tube.

The court heard that an internal inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the woman’s death was commenced by the hospital in early June and is ongoing. Mr Reidy said the stated purpose of this internal inquiry was to establish the facts, identify ‘systems failures’ within the hospital and make recommendations to prevent any identifiable future risk.

“The National Maternity Hospital set up its own internal inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death with the stated purpose to identify systems failure within the hospital,” Mr Reidy said.

The report is now at draft final stage, Mr Reidy said and Mr Thawley has requested all documentation from the hospital that the inquiry has generated to date but this had been refused.

“We have been denied access to that,” Mr Reidy said. He asked that all information submitted to the Coroner’s Court in relation to the case be made available to his client.

Barrister Simon Mills, for the hospital, said he did not accept ‘that characterisation of matters.’

“The investigation is ongoing,” Mr Mills said.

Adjourning the inquest for further mention until October 24, the coroner conveyed her condolences to Mr Thawley.


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