Health staff under fire over death
A coroner has criticised staff at Lagan Valley Hospital for their lack of urgency in treating a pregnant woman who later died in A&E.
At the inquest of Amanda Wilson (35), Coroner Brian Sherrard said: “It is my strong opinion that her treatment was not proper or appropriately prioritised and it also suffered due to a lack of proper communication between staff.”
Mother-of-two Mrs Wilson was 12 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to the A&E unit with severe back pain along with continuous vomiting and retching.
She had a history of hiatus hernia — where the stomach pushes up into the lower chest through a hole in the diaphragm — and had had repair surgery in 2003 after a previous operation.
The fire control operator was suffering from extreme pain on the night of March 11, 2007 and was brought to hospital shortly before 6am the following morning where she was treated as a category three patient, the third most serious group.
Junior level doctor Barry McConville attended to Mrs Wilson and requested an X-ray.
He told the court that when he looked at the results he noticed a large shadow on the left side of the chest which was “grossly abnormal” and said he had never seen anything like it before.
Dr Lawrence Jaffey, who prepared a report on Mrs Wilson’s death almost five hours after she was admitted, said that Mrs Wilson may have been saved if a diagnosis was made at 7.30am when the X-ray results came through.