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Expert tells inquest mother could have avoided fatal blood clot after cosmetic surgery

PUBLISHED: 17:20 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:53 01 November 2019

Louise Harvey from Norwich, who died 17 days after a breast augmentation. Photo: Facebook

Louise Harvey from Norwich, who died 17 days after a breast augmentation. Photo: Facebook

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A mother who died from a blood clot after cosmetic surgery should have received blood thinners after being discharged, an inquest has heard.

Independent haematology expert Professor Charles Hay, was giving evidence at inquest of Louise Harvey, 36, of Calthorpe Road in Norwich, who died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on July 5, 2018.

The mother-of-three and beauty therapist had undergone a tummy tuck and breast enlargement lasting just over three-and-a-half hours at the private the Transform Riverside Hospital in London on June 17, 2018.

A post-mortem examination recorded the she died of a bilateral pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that occurs in the lungs.

The five-day inquest at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich heard there was a delay in Miss Harvey receiving the first of two prescribed doses of blood-thinning medicine, with the second was missed.

She was due to receive the first injection four to six hours after surgery but it was given 12 hours later.

Prof Hay, who was instructed by Miss Harvey's family, believed the 36-year-old had a moderate risk of developing venous thrombosis, known as a blood clot, and should have been sent home with five to seven days worth of the injections.

The consultant haematologist from Manchester Royal Infirmary said: "I feel on the balance of probabilities it would have prevented her thrombosis."

But Christopher Mellor, counsel representative for the Transform hospital, now in administration, said there was no evidence from random controlled studies or specific guidance on the impact of blood thinning medication for patients due to a small number of tummy tucks carried out.

Prof Hay believed Miss Harvey was at risk of developing a blood clot because her maternal grandmother died from an unprovoked incident of deep vein thrombosis aged 55 and her maternal half-sister on had an unprovoked pulmonary embolism aged 26.

Other factors included the fact that the operation was longer than 90 minutes and that the two procedures were done at the same time.

He questioned whether Miss Harvey was deemed fully mobile on her hospital discharge, which was disputed by her notes.

The inquest continues.

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