Doctors who performed an emergency Caesarean section on a
car-crash victim – only to find she wasn’t pregnant – have been cleared of any
The doctors performed the emergency C-section on Adele
Barbour last year when she was brought in after she was involved in a
Paramedics misdiagnosed her as being eight months pregnant
because her scoliosis and spina bifida made her belly appear swollen, according
The 48-year-old from Lincolnshire, England, was rushed to
hospital by emergency services after she was involved in a crash with another vehicle.
Paramedics thought she was pregnant when they noticed her
protruding stomach and alerted doctors upon arrival at the hospital, Daily
With time working against them, doctors performed the C-section
in hopes of saving the baby.
But they found she wasn’t pregnant and she succumbed to her
Adele’s family were unhappy they weren’t informed
immediately that the procedure was performed and asked that an inquest into the
death be launched.
Coroner Marianne Johnson’s initial report suggested the C-section
didn’t contribute to Adele’s death, according to The
“The evidence I’ve heard is that the initial misdiagnosis
[of pregnancy] didn’t cause or contribute to her death.
“It appears all efforts were made in her care to try to save
her but her injuries were so severe the outcome was inevitable.
“My conclusion is Adele died as a result of a road-traffic
Dr Anthony Leetman, who wrote a report that investigated the
actions of paramedics and the trauma team, concluded that both teams hadn’t
been in the wrong.
“The crew pre-alerted the hospital quite correctly. It was
entirely reasonable to proceed to C-section.
“The trauma team can only proceed on the information that’s
presented to it. Given the information to the hospital by paramedics,
appropriate actions were taken.”
He added that the injuries she suffered in the crash were so
severe that most people wouldn’t have even made it to the hospital.
“Sadly, she was likely to die in any event.”