Woman who gave birth died after internal bleeding

Tracey Fitzpatrick’s death will be reviewed by staff from Dublin maternity hospitals

A woman who died hours after giving birth at St Luke’s hospital in Kilkenny suffered a massive internal haemorrhage, a postmortem has indicated.

The death of Tracey Fitzpatrick on Easter Monday is believed to be the first maternal death in the hospital in 40 years.

Ms Fitzpatrick died after suffering post-partum haemorrhage despite receiving substantial transfusions of blood.

She had given birth to a healthy baby boy – her third son, Max – in the maternity unit only hours earlier and was recovering normally when her condition started to deteriorate during the night. She died several hours later.

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The death, which is classified as a serious reportable event within the HSE, is the subject of a review, which is expected to take several months to conclude. Senior personnel from a number of Dublin maternity hospitals are expected to be involved in this review.

Post-partum haemorrhages are becoming more common internationally as mothers get older and more obese.

However, Ms Fitzpatrick was only 36 years of age and was in good health.

Her baby, who was still being cared for in hospital yesterday, received a normal delivery.

The death has been notified to the Kilkenny coroner and an inquest will take place later in the year.

Mass

A Mass in her home parish in Co Carlow yesterday heard how her family had been “stunned by grief”. Fr Brendan Howard, parish priest of Ballon-Rathoe, was speaking in a homily at St Patrick’s Church, Rathoe.

The deep sorrow being endured by her family “is something that only they themselves can know, a kind of grief that is stark, private and exclusive”, he said. “The shock of this tragedy has stunned the whole parish,” he added.

“For those of us who knew Tracey this occasion has an air of unreality about it. We cannot believe what has happened.

“To her husband, parents and family, the event is a nightmare from which they would hope to awaken. The suddenness of Tracey’s passing leaves us stunned by grief.”

Symbols of Ms Fitzpatrick’s life were brought to the altar, including a photo of baby Max by her husband and a Leinster jersey, symbolising her move from Mayo to Carlow.

Ms Fitzpatrick, from Templepeter, outside Nurney, Co Carlow, and a native of Shanvaghera, Knock, Co Mayo, is survived by her husband Bernard and sons Jamie, Adam and Max.

She is also survived by her parents James and Pauline Campbell, sisters Amanda, Paula and Diane, brother Alan, grandmothers Rita (Mayo) and Kitty (Carlow) and her extended family.

She had reposed at her Templepeter home on Wednesday before removal yesterday morning to her local church, where members of the Burren Rangers GAA Club formed a guard of honour.

Following the Mass, she was brought to the Co Mayo home of her parents at Shanvaghera, ahead of her funeral today in St Ann’s Church.