Hampshire mum died in childbirth without expert advice despite previous complications, inquest hears
An inquest into the death of a woman during childbirth has heard how doctors did not seek advice from experts about how she should deliver her baby, despite knowing she had previous complications.
Lucy Howell, 32, from Bishop's Waltham, went into labour with her second child at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester in March 2021.
She died during a natural birth, but her daughter survived.
Ms Howell previously had surgery to repair complications following the birth of her first daughter.
When pregnant with her second child she opted for a natural birth.
At the hearing on Wednesday (22 March) in Winchester, questions were raised as to whether she was given the correct advice or properly warned about the risks because of her previous history.
The hearing was also told that medical staff had not consulted the expert who had carried out Lucy's surgery, and how he felt she should deliver her second baby.
The inquest was told that the vast majority of births, as many as 96% were by elective caesarean in this kind of circumstance.
There were also questions about whether Lucy should have been given, or continue to receive a drug that was given to induce her labour.
A report by the Health Service Investigation Bureau after her death found a review by senior doctors should have been done when things started changing during Lucy's labour.
She experienced pain, despite having an epidural, and midwives also spotted blood.
Lucy collapsed and stopped breathing, having suffered a rare complication called an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) and a ruptured uterus during delivery.
Attempts to save her failed, but her baby girl, Pippa, was successfully delivered via caesarean section.
Doctor Eleanor Carlisle who looked after Lucy on the night she died, told the inquest the labour had been progressing normally before her collapse.
She told Lucy's family: "I am so so sorry for your unimaginable loss."
The inquest continues.
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