A heavily pregnant mother and her baby both died after an appendicitis operation went wrong. The trainee surgeons removed her ovary, instead of her inflamed appendix. Find out more about this incredible case of medical negligence.
When a pregnant mother-to-be started to experience abdominal pain, she was admitted to hospital and was correctly diagnosed with appendicitis. Although Maria De Jesus, was heavily pregnant, the operation she needed still should have been routine for well trained doctors.
Unfortunately Mrs De Jesus, 32, wasn’t operated on by well trained doctors. Instead, her appendectomy was performed by trainees – who were unsupervised.
When operating on pregnant women, surgeons have to ‘feel’ for the appendix. However, the incompetent surgeons made a catastrophic mistake – they removed Mrs De Jesus’s ovary, instead of her inflamed appendix. This was just the first part of the medical negligence Mrs De Jesus received, leading to her and her unborn baby's death.
Mrs De Jesus was then discharged from the hospital in East London, England, only to be readmitted two weeks later with the same excruciating pain. She was still unaware of any medical negligence – and so were the doctors.
Unread pathology report
It has emerged that a pathology report had been available to doctors. The report documented the failures of the operation. However, they didn’t read it until after the patient had been readmitted two weeks later.
By this stage, Mrs De Jesus had miscarried and was suffering from a severe blood infection due to her inflamed appendix still being inside her. She had another emergency operation but died on the operating table, 19 days after the initial operation. The cause of death was cited as being ‘multiple organ failure’.
Learn more about appendicitis here:
Unlawful killing through medical negligence
Her husband, Adelino De Jesus, told The Daily Mail: “My wife’s death could have been prevented, I am sure of it.”
“This is neglect, this is an unlawful killing. If my wife had been given treatment by fully qualified staff and people were informed of the mistake earlier she could still be alive,” he added.
He also described the surgeon’s medical negligence as a ‘litany of errors’.
Admission of liability
At a recent inquest, the hospital has admitted medical negligence. At the hearing, Dr Sumitra Sharma described the moment she read the report: “I could not believe it, I was shocked.”
The hearing was also told how the doctors involved were ‘deeply affected by the case’, and that the hospital had implemented new measures to prevent any such events from happening again.
The De Jesus family have been notified of the hospital’s admission of medical negligence. They are now planning to pursue legal action against the East London hospital.
Mrs De Jesus is survived by her 10-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son.
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