Adele Barbour, 48, suffered a heart attack after a car crash on the A46 near Lincoln, an inquest heard
A car crash victim had an emergency C-section carried out on her after medics mistakenly thought she was pregnant, an inquest heard.
Adele Barbour tragically died as a result of the collision on the A46 near Lincoln.
The 48-year-old passed away in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest at the wheel.
Questions were raised by coroner Marianne Johnson about the actions of emergency workers who mistakenly thought she was pregnant.
An investigation was launched by the East Midlands Ambulance Service.
Miss Barbour died on January 17 last year as she had pulled in front of a Toyota Yaris while trying to turn right.
She had been indicating right off the A46 when she pulled in front of the Yaris travelling on the other side of the road.
Miss Barbour had a cardiac arrest and was rushed to hospital.
A statement by Miss Barbour’s sister Sarah-Jane Spence at the inquest said she was “incredibly proud of my big sister”, adding that Miss Barbour was a much-loved auntie to her two boys.
Mrs Spence also spoke of her sister’s courage and determination even as a child.
She said: “She was unable to walk at all until she was seven years old but this never stopped her – she got around on her bottom.”
She added: “She is sorely missed by all of us.”
Questions were raised by coroner Marianne Johnson at the inquest into her death on the actions of emergency workers who mistakenly thought she was pregnant.
A C-section was carried out at the hospital because they thought she might have a baby due to her protruding stomach – only for them to discover she was not pregnant.
At an inquest held at the Lincoln Cathedral Centre, a collision investigator was called to give his report on the circumstances of the crash.
PC Mark Brown said in his evidence: “Adele Barbour has failed to give way at the junction. She has pulled into the path of a Toyota Yaris across in the south-west-bound lane.
“For an unknown reason she has not seen the oncoming Toyota Yaris.
“Adele Barbour was driving her black Vauxhall Meriva on the A46 Lincoln Road at Nettleham.
“She had started to turn right and has failed to give way and driven into the path of an oncoming Yaris.
The other driver was confronted by a car in her carriageway and had no way to avoid it.
“There is no evidence that her (the other driver) driving caused the collision.”
At the inquest, a post mortem investigation gave the medical cause of death as a laceration of the aorta.
Witness Nicola Ware was one of the first on scene of the collision.
She was driving to work as a paramedic for East Midlands Ambulance Service.
When she arrived, she said Miss Barbour was sitting conscious in her car and complaining of back pain.
She said: “I went towards the car that Adele was in. I asked her name and said that I was an off-duty paramedic on my way to work.
“I asked her if she had any pain and she said that she had pain in her back and that she had a pre-existing back condition.
“She did not mention if she was pregnant. She had a large puffa jacket on so I had no reason to believe that she was.
“I proceeded to the other car and I phoned the control room to explain that I would be late and I was told it would be a while before getting a crew on the scene.
“Another lady at the scene then shouted me back across to Adele as she thought she was fitting.
“She was unconscious but she had a pulse and she was breathing.
“The fire service arrived and I asked them to help me to get her out of the car and she went into cardiac arrest.”
Other paramedics from the private medical group Elite EMS and LIVES also arrived at the scene to help.
Staff who arrived on scene raised concerns that Miss Barbour may have been pregnant due to a protruding stomach so precautionary measures were made while giving her CPR.
The inquest also heard evidence from James Bidwell from Elite EMS, Chris Cole, a paramedic at LIVES, and Emma Haskey, a clinical support manager at EMAS.
A GP report read out at the inquest said that she had received major surgery in 1975 for spina bifida and was also diagnosed with chronic leukaemia in 2016.
In all of the live evidence given, it was heard that the decision was made to move Miss Barbour to Lincoln County Hospital due to her unstable state and repeat cardiac arrests, unavailability of the air ambulance and the possibility that she may have been pregnant.
Evidence from Emma Haskey heard at the inquest said: “In a pre-alert to the hospital, I informed them there was a female patient after a road traffic collision with a query to whether she was eight months pregnant and that I would update them with more information when I could.
“Later I was updated by the emergency operations centre who told me that a C-section was carried out and the patient was found not to be pregnant.”
Sam Smith, from East Midland Ambulance Service, concluded: “In my opinion from the evidence I don’t think that the crew could have done any more than they did.
“I would not recommend a different course of action.”
Coroner Johnson said: “The evidence that I have heard is that the initial mis-diagnosis [of pregnancy] did not cause or contribute to her death.
“It appears all efforts were made in her care to try to save her but her injuries was so severe the outcome was inevitable.
“My conclusion is that Adele died as a result of a road traffic collision.”