Inquest begins into the death of a mother of two

Tragic death of mother


The inquest begins today into the death of a woman who died six days after giving birth to her baby at Kingston Hospital, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey.

Group A streptococcal septicaemia

Jessica Palmer (34) died from multi organ failure as a result of Group A streptococcal septicaemia on the 30th June 2004 having given birth to her second child, Emily,on the 24th June 2004. The family of Mrs Palmer believe the death could and should have been avoided.

Mrs Palmer was discharged from hospital on the night of 25th June, the day after the delivery of her daughter. On the morning of her discharge it had been noted that she had low blood pressure, a fast pulse rate and a temperature, all of which were potentially signs of infection.

Mrs Palmer's temperature went up overnight and as a result her husband, Ben, telephoned the community midwife the following morning and asked her to visit that day. However the midwife did not visit until the following day.

When the midwife visited three days after Emily's birth, she noted that Mrs Palmer was feverish and had a sore throat, however no further action was taken.

The following day, having had a bad night , Mrs Palmer was sufficiently concerned by her own condition to telephone her GP who prescribed a painkiller, no follow up appointment was made and no visit arranged.

On the fifth day after Emily's birth Mrs Palmer called the GP's surgery again and on this occasion an appointment was made for her to see a GP straight away. That GP made immediate arrangements for Mrs Palmer to be transferred by ambulance to hospital. Her condition deteriorated quickly and she died the next day.

Medical care Inquest solicitor

Claire Fazan, the family's solicitor from Irwin Mitchell said "The hospital, the community midwife and the GP practice were all involved in looking after Mrs Palmer following the delivery of her daughter. Had she been kept in hospital or been referred back there earlier, it is probable that she would still be alive today. Her family need to know why this did not happen. We hope that the Inquest will provide them with some answers "

Mr Palmer, who is left with two children, Emily (17 months) and Harry (4), said: "I am determined that no other family should have to live through a tragedy like the one we have suffered. I want to make sure that all those who work with newly delivered mothers appreciate the potential significance of symptoms such as those suffered by Jessica in terms of their potential to be life threatening and that expectant parents are advised that even in the 21st century child birth is not without risk for the mother."