NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Lesley Cowie FAI told 'doctors failed in duty of care'

Doctors failed in their duty of care to a mother who died from liver complications just days after giving birth at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, a fatal accident inquiry has been told.

Lesley Cowie, 31, died after suffering internal bleeding following the birth of her daughter in 2007.

Liver specialist Dr Mervyn Davies told the FAI that medical staff committed a "breach" in their duty of care.

He said Mrs Cowie's liver problems should have been "red flag".

Dr Davies said: "Risk of haemorrhage was not at the front of the doctors' minds.

"In my opinion there was a breach of care in this case - in my opinion there was negligence in this case."

Doctors giving evidence earlier this year at the FAI at Aberdeen Sheriff Court said that there had been concerns about Mrs Cowie's liver, which went back nearly a decade.

Life support

She had undergone tests in 1998 for nausea and vomiting.

An ultrasound uncovered nodules on her liver.

Mrs Cowie's health deteriorated a few days after giving birth.

She suffered internal bleeding and cardiac arrest during which her heart stopped for 45 minutes.

She underwent surgery for an abdominal haemorrhage and was put on a life support machine before she died.

A post-mortem examination later revealed that the haemorrhage was linked to a form of benign liver tumour.

Dr Davies said in his opinion it was more likely that the growths were adenomas, capable of growing and rupturing during pregnancy.

The inquiry is expected to continue later this month.

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