British Doctors have been told they did nothing wrong when they performed an emergency cesarean section on a woman who died in a crash.
Adele Barbour, 48, was killed when she tried to turn right off a road and hit an oncoming car in Nettleham, Lincolnshire. Paramedics misdiagnosed her as being eight months pregnant because her scoliosis and spina bifida made her belly appear swollen.
With time against them, doctors operated on her but a coroner heard there was no evidence to suggest this contributed to her death. However, Adele’s family were unhappy that they were not initially told that the procedure had been carried out. Sister Sarah-Jane Spence said: ‘On the day Adele was admitted, the doctor omitted to mention the C-section when she told us Adele was being moved to theatre, and neither did she tell us about it when she informed us of her death. ‘Adele attended on January 17. On arrival to hospital the doctor told us she had gone to theatre. ‘She did not communicate the suggestion that she was pregnant or that they had carried out a C-section.
‘The coroner’s officer rang the next day and asked me if I was aware they thought she was pregnant and I said that I knew nothing about it.’ Dr Anthony Leetman, who produced a report which investigated the actions of paramedics and the trauma team, concluded it was Adele’s appearance that led ambulance crews to believe she was pregnant. He said: ‘The crew pre-alerted the hospital quite correctly. It was entirely reasonable to proceed to C-section. ‘The trauma team can only proceed on the information that is presented to it. Given the information to the hospital by EMAS, appropriate actions were taken.’ He added that the injury she suffered to her aorta was so severe most people would not have made it to the hospital alive.
He wrote: ‘Sadly, she was very likely to die in any event.’ Coroner Marianne Johnson said: ‘The evidence that I have heard is that the initial mis-diagnosis [of pregnancy] did not cause or contribute to her death. ‘It appears all efforts were made in her care to try to save her but her injuries was so severe the outcome was inevitable.