Investigation launched after woman (34) dies at Holles Street

Malak Kuzbary Thawley died at Dublin hospital seven weeks into her first pregnancy

Investigation launched after woman (34) dies at Holles Street

Malak Kuzbary Thawley and her husband

The National Maternity Hospital in Dublin is to investigate the death of a pregnant woman during emergency surgery earlier this month.

Malak Kuzbary Thawley (34) died at the Holles Street hospital on May 8th, seven weeks into her first pregnancy.

The woman, a teacher from Syria, was advised to undergo emergency surgery after scans confirmed she had an ectopic pregnancy.

She reportedly died after sustaining a vascular injury during the operation. 

Ms Thawley and her American husband had been living in Ireland for a number of years. Her partner, Alan, has since returned to the care of relatives and friends in the United States. 

The family's solicitor, Caoimhe Haughey, told Newstalk Breakfast that the couple had "raised the possibility" of a medically-induced abortion but were told this was not option.

Ms Thawley was instead prepared for urgent surgery on May 8th and died at around 8pm that night, according to medical records.

"One of the major risks of [the procedure] is the risk of laceration to a major vessel in the abdominal wall. There's early indication this is what happened in that case," Ms Haughey told the programme. 

Transparency

She added that she was not "entirely satisfied" with the makeup of an internal inquiry into the death, which she said included only one external investigator. The six other members of the team are all said to be 

"I don't agree with organisations investigating themselves with things wrong," she said.

According to RTÉ, the probe will set out to explain the circumstances around and possible factors contributing to the incident. 

In a statement, the National Maternity Hospital confirmed that "a maternal death took place" in 2016.

"Every maternal death is a deeply tragic event and as always our thoughts are with the loved ones of the deceased," it said.

"As with all maternal deaths this case is subject to the coronial process and the hospital is unable to make any comment."

The Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS) said the case showed the need for full accountability following such tragic deaths. 

Spokesperson Krysia Lynch said: “Last year, Clare Daly TD appealed for compulsory inquests into maternal deaths in Ireland as per the Bill to Reform Coroners’ Court Legislation, published in 2007, which had not yet been acted on.

"This did not occur in the life of the last government. AIMS Ireland's hope is that there will be a speedy internal and external review of this case and that the coroner will ensure an inquest so that the details of this sad case can come into the public domain.”