A routine surgery ended in death for a woman and her unborn child when surgeons accidentally removed her ovary instead her appendix.
Maria De Jesus, 32, was admitted to Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex, UK, suffering from crippling stomach pains, and doctors diagnosed her as having appendicitis. Due to her pregnancy, the mother of two was told surgeons would have to “feel” for her appendix, but unsupervised trainee surgeons instead removed one of her ovaries, the Daily Mail reports.
De Jesus was not informed of the surgical error and was discharged, only to return six days later with similar pains. It was then that the hospital realized its mistake, which resulted in a miscarriage two days later. Officials attempted to correct the issue by draining the patient's abdominal fluid and removing her appendix 19 days after the first operation, but De Jesus tragically passed away on the operating table.
According to the report, De Jesus' death was due to appendicitis, among other health issues, including severe sepsis (whole body inflammation) and multiple organ failures. Husband Adelino De Jesus, 53, said the family is planning to pursue legal action against Barking, Havering Redbridge Hospital Trust after a doctor’s admission of liability in his wife's 2011 death.
“She went to hospital with stomach pains and we were told she needed to have her appendix out. But they removed the wrong one [the ovary instead of the appendix]. We feel that this was negligent. My wife’s death could have been prevented, I am sure of it,” he said. “This is neglect, this is an unlawful killing. If my wife had been given treatment by fully qualified staff and people were informed of the mistake earlier, she could still be alive.”
De Jesus is survived by her two children, 10-year-old Catarina and 16-year-old Pedro.