Croydon Univeristy Hospital could face corporate manslaughter charge after mother of twins dies
Croydon’s hospital trust could be charged with corporate manslaughter after a mother-of-five bled to death just hours after giving birth to twins by Caesarean section.
The Metropolitan Police has passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service about events at Croydon University Hospital, which was then Mayday Hospital, before the death of Rosida Etwaree in June 2010.
It is now considering whether to prosecute Croydon Health Services NHS Trust.
The Trust has admitted liability for her death and yesterday (February 25) at the High Court agreed to pay Mrs Etwaree’s husband an undisclosed settlement.
This money will be used to provide for his children, now aged between 18 and three, and treat his post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Ahamud Etwaree said no amount of money will bring his wife back.
He said: "I took legal action because I desperately needed answers about why our children had been robbed of their mum so I could begin to get my head round what had happened.
"I still don’t understand how my wife died from what the NHS calls a Never Event - as it simply shouldn’t happen."
Mrs Etwaree lost over half her blood after undergoing a caesarean to deliver twins at the Mayday Hospital, which caused a fatal cardiac arrest just hours later.
She had been warned one of the twins, Nabilah, would not survive due to a heart defect so she was looking forward to spending what little time she could cradling the girls.
But she was so weak following the surgery she never got to hold either of them.
Nabilah later died at two years old and is buried in her mother’s grave.
Mr Etwaree, from Croydon, said: "I will never forget witnessing my wife suffer in such a horrendous way.
"I begged the doctors and nurses to help her but they made me feel that I was panicking over nothing and that they had everything under control with the blood transfusions they had given her.
"Shortly after 7pm a crash call was made as my wife’s heart began failing. "I watched as the doctors and nurses rushed in and tried to resuscitate her and I could see her slipping away.
"Three hours later, the doctor came to me and told me Rosida had died.
"I hugged her helplessly not wanting to believe it could be true.
"No one could tell me how or why this had happened and as I struggled to come to terms with it, I couldn’t help but feel bitter anger towards the staff that were meant to have cared for Rosida."
Irwin Mitchell solicitors found a catalogue of ‘atrocious’ failings by Croydon Health Services NHS Trust which contributed to Mrs Etwaree’s death.
In fact, Rosida was one of three women who died over a two-month period while in the care of maternity services at the same hospital.
Solicitor Louise Forsyth, a medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: "This is one of the most horrific cases I have come across and the failings of the Trust were nothing short of atrocious.
"While we welcome the admission of liability and settlement for the family, Rosida’s death was entirely avoidable and nothing can make up for the family’s loss."
A Croydon Health Services NHS Trust spokesman said: “Rosida Etwaree died at Mayday Hospital on June 23, 2010, following an elective Caesarean procedure which caused an intra-abdominal haemorrhage.
“Croydon Health Services NHS Trust has admitted liability for Mrs Etwaree’s death.
“The Trust wishes to express its sincere condolences to Rosida Etwaree’s family for their tragic loss.
“The Trust deeply regrets the events that led to this death and has written to the family to offer its support.
“The Trust are pleased that the Court has today approved the proposed financial settlement to Mrs Etwaree’s husband and children and hope that the settlement will help in meeting the family’s future needs.”
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