An anaesthetist broke down in court as he recounted how he was told he could not give blood products to a mother who was bleeding to death after a Caesarean section.

Gabriela Pintilie, 36, suffered a massive post-partum haemorrhage and lost a total of six litres of blood after giving birth to her daughter via C-section at Basildon Hospital last February.

The mum died hours after childbirth, having not received all the blood doctors had ordered for transfusion, Essex Coroner's Court has heard.

The healthy baby was born via C-section at about 9.35pm on February 26.

Mrs Pintilie, from Grays, was rushed into surgery after haemorrhaging and losing more than a litre of blood in just seven minutes after the procedure ended, but died seven hours later at 4.41am on February 27.

Dr Tom Hall was the anaesthetist in charge of keeping track of Mrs Pintilie's blood loss in the surgery, which included a hysterectomy, but says that a consultant haematologist refused to issue blood clotting products, such as frozen fresh plasma to the theatre.

He told the Chelmsford inquest that his colleague Dr Olubukunola Ojo called the haematologist at around quarter past midnight to request blood clotting products, but was told they would not be released until the latest set of blood test results had been returned.

Having to stop to compose himself, Dr Hall added: "Mrs Pintilie was very unstable by this point, her blood pressure was fluctuating, her heart rate was going up as well. She was very unwell."

When asked about his colleague's reaction, Dr Hall said: "She was surprised by what he said, he said we should wait."

By this point, Dr Hall described Mrs Pintilie as "very unstable", adding: "Her blood pressure would sometimes drop very low, and sometimes shoot through the roof."

Shortly after 2am, Dr Hall called the haematologist himself, but also got a refusal.

He said: "He told me I should not be giving products because of evidence-based practice, it was the wrong thing.

"He started quoting research papers at me."

He remembered describing Mrs Pintilie's blood as "looking like water".

When asked how this made him feel, Dr Hall said: "I was surprised by the fact we were told not to give blood products.

"At that point, she needed plasma at least."

He added: "I was doubting, I started to doubt myself.

"I thought I must have got my understanding wrong and he had given me the right advice."

Around an hour later, Dr Hall got a call when Mrs Pintilie went into cardiac arrest, and then died.

He said: "My beeper went off and I knew who it was so I went straight to (intensive care).

"CPR was ongoing, we stopped after about 45 minutes."

The maternity unit at Basildon Hospital was given a "requires improvement" rating following a Care Quality Commission inspection in July last year.

The inquest continues.