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Doctors 'failed' mother who died

Doctors failed in their duty of care to a mother who died from liver complications just days after giving birth, a Fatal Accident Inquiry heard yesterday.

Lesley Cowie, 31, died after suffering internal bleeding following the birth of her daughter Grace in 2007, via an emergency caesarean at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.

Yesterday liver specialist Dr Mervyn Davies said Mrs Cowie's liver problems - involving lumps that were first noticed nearly a decade before her death - should have been a "red flag".

Dr Davies said: "She was a young woman with bombs inside her.

"In my opinion there was a breach of care 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 going back nearly a decade.

Mrs Cowie's suffered internal bleeding and cardiac arrest during which her heart stopped for 45 minutes, a few days after giving birth.

Earlier, doctors gave evidence that the lumps were focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH). But yesterday Dr Davies said he thought they were adenomas.

He said: "With FNH one would assume there is no risk of bleeding. With adenomas there is a very high risk of bleeding.

During cross-examination Dr Davies was challenged over pathology reports which stated that the lumps were FNH, not adenomas.

The doctor said he could not challenge the post-mortem findings but that if the lumps were FNH then they did not behave in a "typical" fashion.

The inquiry is expected to continue later this month.

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