Belfast Telegraph

Infection after Caesarean killed mum, inquest told

By Lisa Smyth

A young mother died from heart failure brought on by an infection after an emergency Caesarean section, an inquest has been told.

While a post-mortem found 34-year-old Terri-Louise Moore died as a result of a clot on her lung, a doctor caring for the Ballymena woman said he believed an infection was the cause of death.

Mrs Moore (below), was 33 weeks pregnant when admitted to Antrim Area Hospital on November 26, 2007.

She underwent an emergency Caesarean section and a healthy baby girl was born, but Mrs Moore’s condition deteriorated after the birth and she was given antibiotics for an infection.

The inquest heard that doctors discovered Mrs Moore had a clot on her right ovary — an extremely rare complication — on December 7.

Dr Robert Ashe, a consultant obstetrician from the Northern Health & Social Care Trust, said: “I had never seen this before... it is an extremely rare complication. I was aware of it, but never in my 30 years of obstetric practice had I come across it.”

Doctors began to treat Mrs Moore with a clot busting drug but she was transferred to Belfast City Hospital on December 9 when she failed to respond to treatment.

Mrs Moore was fitted with a medical device

which stops blood clots from travelling to the heart or lungs.

Dr Bernard Lee, a vascular surgeon at the City Hospital, said a subsequent CT scan showed the device had been fitted in a “safe and satisfactory position”.

A decision was then taken to carry out a laporoscopy — a surgical procedure that allows the surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen — to rule out the possibility she had an abscess.

The court was told five to 10 minutes after beginning the procedure Mrs Moore’s condition deteriorated and the surgical team believed she had suffered a pulmonary embolism — a blood clot in the artery leading to the heart.

Dr Lee attributed her death to “a prolonged sepsis” which “caused myocardial suppression”.

The case continues.

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