Pregnancy test on injured Di could have been disastrous: Doctor

November 16th, 2007 - 2:03 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov 16 (ANI): The doctor who supervised the final battle to save Princess Dianas life dismissed suggestions that medics should have carried out a pregnancy test on her.

Professor Bruno Riou said that taking time to study ultrasound images for signs that she was pregnant would have been “disastrous”.

He also told the ongoing inquest into the princess death that her chances of survival when she was brought into hospital in Paris were already “almost nil”.

The professor, from the anaesthetics and resuscitation department at Paris’s Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, was on duty just after 2am on August 31 1997 when Diana was brought in from the scene of her car crash.

In the preceding hour-and-a-half, Diana had already gone into cardiac arrest once and, during the slow journey to hospital, her ambulance had to be stopped when her blood pressure dropped to dangerously low levels, the inquest in London has heard.

The jury has also heard that Mohamed al Fayed, whose son Dodi was also killed in the car crash believes that Diana was pregnant with his sons child when she died. He believes the couple were murdered in an MI6 conspiracy because the royal family was not prepared to accept “an Egyptian Muslim” as stepfather to the future king, Prince William.

Michael Mansfield, QC, representing Fayed, asked Prof Riou whether he was aware of any members of staff on duty that night saying they thought she was pregnant. He said he was not.

He accepted that an abdominal ultrasound test, often carried out on patients with multiple injuries, might be capable in certain circumstances of picking up a pregnancy.

However he told the court that he did not believe such a test was done that night because of the urgency of the need to carry out an operation.

“The matter for me, when I receive someone suffering from multiple trauma, has got no meaning,” the Telegraph quoted Prof Riou, as saying.

“As we had determined that the bleeding came from right inside the thorax, the issue was not relevant to what was going on in the abdomen,” he added, giving evidence to the Royal Courts of Justice in London via videolink from Paris.

Pressed by Mansfield on whether such a routine test could pick up a pregnancy at even four to five weeks, he said: “Yes, if it is performed by an experienced radiographer that has spent half an hour on the matter and has had to really look at details. For any patient suffering from multiple trauma, the issue of pregnancy isn’t one we consider.

“And for a patient like her, bleeding massively and having been subject to cardiac arrest, I would have considered the fact of proceeding to an ultrasound scan as a disastrous loss of time, he added.

He said that Dianas heart had already stopped once and the internal bleeding was putting pressure on her heart and right lung. Moments before surgeons opened up her chest to find the ruptured blood vessel, her heart stopped again.

Throughout the next hour and 50 minutes, as surgeons located the rupture and tried to stitch the wound, she was repeatedly injected with adrenaline, and given electric shocks and constant heart massage in an attempt to resuscitate her.

The professor said he knew of only four or five cases in medical literature where patients with similar levels of multiple injuries had survived. (ANI)

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