Confusion remains over mum's death

THERE was still confusion today over what information was passed to doctors who tried to save the life of an Ipswich woman who died just hours after giving birth.

THERE was still confusion today over what information was passed to doctors who tried to save the life of an Ipswich woman who died just hours after giving birth.

An inquest was told doctors were not informed of the exact nature of Joanne Whale's condition - leading to a delay in getting her into the operating theatre.

Miss Whale, 23, of Whitworth Close, suffered a “massive haemorrhage” because of complications as she gave birth to a healthy baby on September 10 last year.

Giving evidence at the inquest, midwife Sarah Hall admitted she did not pass on information that Miss Whale had suffered an “inverted uterus” during labour.

Doctors said if they had known this, they would have rushed her straight into the operating theatre.

However, Ipswich Hospital said today the midwives helping Miss Whale did know what had happened and had passed on those details.

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Head of communications Jan Rowsell said: “The midwife did know and managed the situation accordingly by calling for additional help and for calling for ambulance service colleagues.

“It is a very unexpected and very unusual complication.”

Asked if the midwife told paramedics Miss Whale had suffered an inverted uterus, Ms Rowsell said: “The midwife told the paramedics it was a maternal emergency and shared her knowledge - so yes she did.”

One midwife travelled in the ambulance with Miss Whale to the hospital and the other followed to the hospital a little later.

A full investigation has taken place but no disciplinary action has been taken.

“Both the internal and external investigations identified individual performance issues which are being managed according to the primary care trust policies,” added Ms Rowsell.

Ipswich Hospital has received a series of recommendations for changes to its procedures from the investigations - and has already put those in place to try to ensure a similar incident never happens again.

In future, there will be a continuous risk assessment where a home delivery has been requested over the appropriateness of a home delivery - at the beginning, during the pregnancy and nearer the birth, because circumstances can change.

Are home births safe - or is the best place for a baby to be born in a hospital with all the equipment and experts on hand? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk