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Herpes deaths: Doctor did not think rash was due to virus, inquest hears

Herpes deaths: Doctor did not think rash was due to virus, inquest hears

A hospital consultant said it did not cross his mind that a new mother who died shortly after giving birth had herpes, an inquest has heard.

Kim Sampson and Samantha Mulcahy gave birth by Caesarean section weeks apart at different hospitals run by the East Kent NHS Trust in 2018.

They both died of herpes shortly after giving birth.

A BBC investigation previously revealed the two women had been operated on by the same surgeon.

Ms Sampson became seriously ill after her baby was delivered at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

She was transferred to Kings College Hospital in London where she was diagnosed with a herpes infection and died on 22 May 2018.

Six weeks later, 32-year-old nursery nurse Ms Mulcahy died from an infection caused by the same virus at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

Dr God'swill Etokowo, who worked to deliver Ms Mulcahy's baby alongside another surgeon, who has been granted anonymity, said he was "worried" after noticing she was clearly in "pain and discomfort" and was involved in the decision to conduct a C-section.

There were concerns over her having pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening high blood pressure condition, the inquest was told.

'Had a rash'

Dr Etokowo said: "It didn't cross my mind that she had herpes.

"She had a rash but I didn't think it was a herpes rash."

He added: "I was not convinced she had pre-eclampsia, personally, but there was, of course, a chance."

Dr Etokowo said in hindsight he would have sent a blood test away if there was any doubt over whether Ms Mulcahy had an infection.

He said he did not know about Ms Sampson's death and how she died.

Dr Jonathan Purday, who was on shift while Ms Mulcahy was in hospital, told the inquest she had issues with her respiratory system.

Dr Purday said she did not eat or drink much after the pregnancy and required more oxygen than usual.

Ms Sampson's baby boy - her second child - was delivered at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate in May 2018.

She died at the end of the month in hospital in London after becoming infected.


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