Judge slams careless doctors who removed policewoman’s womb post-partum, leading to her death
The Coroner’s Court judge questioned doctors’ lack of awareness during the surgery of the police officer who hemorrhaged during childbirth and had her womb removed, dying shortly after.
Joyce Yip So-yan, a 26-year-old police officer, had been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia during pregnancy and gave birth to her daughter in Queen Elizabeth hospital on October 6, 2016, she began to hemorrhage after delivery and was treated by the removal of her womb, which doctors claimed would stop the bleeding, but she later died on October 9.
Family members of the police officer stressed doctors’ neglect during the treatment, while the cause of Yip’s death was under analysis today in the Coroner’s Court.
During the inquest, one of Yip’s obstetricians, Cheung Hoi-ching, said she found Yip continuously bleeding after delivery along with not having regular uterine contractions.
She claimed to ask another doctor, Helena Lee Hui-ling, for an examination at that time, and the obstetricians decided to excise Yip’s womb since she was hemorrhaging, as the doctors believed that her bleeding was “due to uterine atony.”
However, Yip’s condition worsened as the bleeding did not stop, and she died three days later. The court found in her medical records that Yip appeared to have “disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)” during the surgery. It is a disease that causes blood to form into small cots and consumes the platelets needed to control bleeding, leading to excessive bleeding.
Coroner Stanley Ho Chun-yiu claimed the doctors failed to consider the cause of Yip’s hemorrhage.
“Removal of the uterus was very dangerous for the patient since she had DIC and her blood coagulation was impaired,” Ho said.
Lee argued that she had not received the blood examination reports of the patient during the surgery and that the decision to excise her womb was due to the “extreme emergency conditions” but admitted that the doctors failed to ask Yip’s family whether or not to perform the uterus removal surgery.
“We would not agree to the surgery If we had been informed by the doctors in advance,” said the elder sister of Yip in court, explaining the patient’s towel was “covered with blood” at the scene.