Pathologist Concludes Hemorrhage & Shock Caused Death Of Zimbabwean Woman Following Childbirth In Ireland

A pathologist concluded hemorrhage and shock were the cause of d£ath a woman who di£d following childbirth in Kerry.

The inquest opened today in Tralee Courthouse into the death of 35-year-old Zimbabwe-born, Tatenda Mukwata, who had lived in a direct provision centre in Kenmare with her three daughters.

She had delivered a daughter via a caesarean section just over six hours before her d£ath.

The inquest is being heard before a jury and coroner, Helen Lucey.

Tatenda Mukwata di£d at University Hospital Kerry just after 2am on April 21st 2022; over six hours prior, she had giving birth to a healthy baby girl, named Eva, via a caesarean section.

The inquest into her d£ath opened at Tralee Courthouse today.

Dr John O’Mahony, SC, instructed by Conor Murphy, acting on behalf of the Mukwata family, claimed that in the hours after childbirth, the 35-year-old’s blood pressure dropped dramatically, as did her haemoglobin levels, and these are clear signs of bleeding in the body.

He said he’s very concerned about what happened from when the baby was born to when Tatenda di£d about six hours later, and that her family feels there were ample opportunities for the hospital to carry out measures to stop the bleeding, and potentially save her life.

Dr Margot Bolster carried out an autopsy on Tatenda Mukwata, and gave evidence today, stating it was an extremely difficult and complex case.

She said the cause of death was hemorrhage and shock due to arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which is a tangle of blood vessels that irregularly connect arteries and veins, adding these uterine arteriovenous malformations are extremely rare.

She said there were over two litres of free blood in the abdomen; the body usually has around 5 litres, noting it was a catastrophic bleed.

A perinatal pathologist, who reviewed the case, also gave evidence.

In Dr Peter Kelehen’s opinion, it was an arteriovenous malformations (AVM) that pre-existed the pregnancy that caused haemorrhage and the patient’s death.

Hs said an arteriovenous malformation is usually unnoticed until it ruptures, and that uterine AVMs are rare, although he has had some experience of them over his career.

He said when one ruptures it can bleed into the uterine cavity, so a woman would have vaginal bleeding, however it if bleeds out it’s not seen, and he claims this was the case with Ms Mukwata.

Dr John O’Mahony, SC, instructed by Conor Murphy, said in his extensive research, he couldn’t find any case of a woman, who having just had a caesarean section, bled, and then died within five to six hours; it was usually weeks or longer afterwards.

The inquest has been adjourned until September 25th, when it will sit for a number of days and is expected to hear extensive medical evidence.

-Radio Kerry-


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