Pregnant Woman Dies After the Removal of Ovary Instead of Appendix

First Posted: Jun 15, 2013 10:43 AM EDT

The world seems to have come to an end for the grieving family of Maria De Jesus who died after unsupervised trainee surgeons removed one of her ovaries instead of her appendix.

The devastated family members are still trying to cope with the death of  Maria and her unborn baby.  Her husband, Adelino De Jesus, 53, described the "litany of errors," which led to her tragic death weeks later after the operation on Nov. 11, 2011, to the media on Saturday, reports Standard. Co.

In the year 2011, teaching assistant Maria, 32, from Dagenham was admitted in Queen's Hospital in Essex with severe abdominal pain. She was five weeks pregnant then. The doctors diagnosed her as suffering from appendicitis.  Since she was pregnant it was difficult to locate her appendix.

But they removed the wrong organ on the operation table instead of removing the appendix. The unsupervised trainees mistakenly removed the ovary. On being discharged, the mother of three kids, Maria, was unaware of the blunder committed by the trainees.

She had to re-admit herself in the hospital after six days with terrible stomach pain. It was then the medical authorities realized their blunder and she had a miscarriage two days later.

As a result of her appendicitis she developed severe sepsis and died on the operating table due to multiple organ failure.  An inquest heard that nearly 100 ml of septic fluid was taken out from Maria's abdomen the following day.

Adelino said, "There had been a litany of errors. My wife's death could have been prevented, I am sure of it. By the time they realised how serious the situation was, and they promised us all the best consultants, it was too late."

The family received an apology letter from the hospital and it admitted liability.

In reply to the letter Adelino said: "Why has it taken so long? It is one-and-a-half years since she died. The letter is in Portuguese, our native tongue, but my sons speak perfect English - why can't they give me a letter in English as well? I am revolted by everything. It sickens me."

The General Medical Council is investigating eight hospital staff including senior surgical consultant Dr Babatunde Coker over the case.

The family will be taking legal action against the hospital.

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