Misdiagnosis blamed for maternal death in Hanoi

TN News

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Officials from the Hanoi Obstetrics Hospital said a misdiagnosis made by its doctors stalled a necessary medical procedure and hence, led to the death of a woman after having a C-section operation last month.

Tran Thi Minh Phuong, 32, died at the capital's leading hospital, Bach Mai, nine days after being transferred there due to massive bleeding she incurred following the C-section delivery of twins at the obstetrics hospital on June 11.

The hospital's investigation, provoked by the family's official complaint on June 28, found that Phuong had suffered uterine atony, the failure of the uterus to contract properly after delivery that caused a postpartum hemorrhage, news website VietNamNet said Tuesday.

Hysterectomy, a surgery to remove the uterus, is believed to be the best immediate remedy for the condition, according to modern medical convention.

But doctors in charge misdiagnosed her with digestive bleeding after she vomited blood after the C-section, thus their surgical intervention came too late.

Phuong fell into a coma after her hysterectomy and died nine days later due to multiple organ failure at Bach Mai.

Postpartum hemorrhage is responsible for around 25 percent of maternal mortality worldwide according to a 2007 World Health Organization report, but the incidence is thought to be much higher in developing countries where many women do not receive skilled medical attention when giving birth.

It has been listed as one of the top direct causes of the increased rate of maternal deaths in Vietnam this year, while the neglect and incompetence on the part of doctors have been blamed.

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Earlier this month, the Quang Ngai Province Health Department in central Vietnam officially blamed the province's General Hospital and a district hospital, saying that irresponsibility of their staff members had caused the deaths of three women and three babies during childbirth. The babies and two of the women died at the provincial general hospital. 

At least 22 maternal complications were reported between April 20 and June 29 across the country, including in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, killing 18 women and some of their babies, according to a recent report issued by the Ministry of Health to the government.

The ministry said Vietnam has achieved many medical developments in recent years but obstetric complications are still a challenge as they are more sudden than those in other fields.

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