Norwich mum who died of a blood clot after breast enhancement ‘was not given drugs that may have saved her life’
PUBLISHED: 11:43 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:43 27 March 2019
A beauty therapist who died of a blood clot after cosmetic surgery was not given medication which may have prevented her death, an inquest review has heard.
Louise Harvey, 36, of Calthorpe Road, Norwich, paid around £7,000 to have the tummy tuck and breast enhancement done at the same time in a three-hour operation at a private London hospital.
The mother-of-three, who had a history of blood clots in her family, died 17 days later from the complication after collapsing at her home.
A pre-inquest hearing on Tuesday heard she had not been issued with anti-coagulant blood thinning drugs to prevent clots to take home after her surgery on June 17 last year.
Miss Harvey had been prescribed a single dose of an anti-coagulant drug during her two-day stay in the hospital run by leading UK cosmetic surgery company Transform.
But Norfolk Coroner’s Court in Norwich was told there was a delay in her receiving it and a prescription for a second dose was also not administered.
Norfolk area corner Yvonne Blake questioned why she had not been given the drugs to take home when her grandmother and sister had each suffered a deep vein thrombosis due to blood clots in the past.
Miss Harvey, who died on July 5, had revealed her family history of DVT during an assessment she underwent before her surgery.
Ms Blake asked for the cosmetic surgery company to describe its protocol on giving anti-coagulant drugs and suggested it was “quite risky” for Miss Harvey not to have been prescribed them.
She added: “My concern is that these protocols may be adequate for an average patient who tends to be youngish.
“But because of her family history with DVT, doesn’t that make her out of the range of the average patient? She was out for three hours having multiple procedures.”
Ms Blake suggested that it may have been more appropriate for Miss Harvey to have the drugs due to her tummy tuck which would have reduced her mobility while she recovered, making a blood clot more likely.
Ms Blake said: “Having a tummy tuck would make you less inclined to move about than you would just with breast augmentation. My concern is that the family history was not taken into account.”
She said she wanted the full inquest hearing to examine the potential “lack of scrutiny” of Miss Harvey’s family history of DVT as well as her post-operative care.
Chris Mellor, representing Transform, said that guidelines about the prescribing of anti-coagulant drugs were not firm rules.
He added: “Whilst there are guidelines, they are not necessarily guidelines that apply to this particular type of surgery.”
Mr Mellor added that the clinic had a video which showed Miss Harvey being mobile as she was discharged.
But he also claimed that the company had improved its protocols since Miss Harvey’s death.
The inquest was adjourned for a full hearing which is likely to take up to four days on dates to be fixed.
The earlier opening of the inquest gave Miss Harvey’s cause of death as bilateral pulmonary embolism secondary to breast augmentation and abdominoplasty.
Mrs Blake said at the earlier hearing that she had undergone surgery to “improve her appearance”.
Tim Deeming, of Tees Law, who is acting on behalf of Miss Harvey’s family, said: “Louise has tragically left three devoted children, her supportive family and friends.
“We hope that wide reaching lessons can be learnt to improve standards for every patient in similar private operations and that the inquest will help clarify and demonstrate both what took place and what has changed to prevent similar issues arising anywhere else and to ensure that there is a legacy of learning from Louise’s death.”
A Transform spokesperson said: “We at Transform have been deeply saddened by the death of Ms Harvey. While we can’t comment on the specifics of the hearing, we can confirm that we are fully committed to supporting the ongoing inquiry.
“As part of this we have undertaken a full internal investigation, which has been shared with the Coroner and other relevant authorities. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with the patient’s family at this time.”
Miss Harvey’s three children Kayleigh-Anne, 19, Owen, 11, and Jaxon, six, are now being looked after by her mother mum Lyn Harvey, 52.
She described her daughter last November as “a hard-working, brilliant mum.” She added: “Vain is the last thing she was. She didn’t even believe she was good-looking. She didn’t have one mirror in her house.”
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