Family Instructs Medical Negligence Lawyers To Help Establish Answers
The family of a mum who died after contracting herpes following childbirth have spoken out following an inquest hearing into her death.
Kim Sampson, of Whitstable, died aged 29 in May 2018 after developing the infection shortly after her baby boy was delivered by caesarean section at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.
Six weeks later, 32-year-old nursery nurse Samantha Mulcahy also died from an infection caused by the same virus, at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford. She had also undergone a caesarean.
The hospitals are run by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.
Kim's family ask medical negligence lawyers to help establish answers
Kim’s mum, Yvette Sampson, instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help investigate her daughter’s care and helps establish answers at an inquest.
Anna Vroobel is the specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Yvette.
Expert Opinion“The birth of Kim’s son should have been such a joyous time for Kim and her family, but it ended in the most heart-breaking circumstances.
“For more than five years Yvette hasn’t been able to grieve properly for Kim because of the many unanswered questions and concerns she had about her care and how the Trust investigated them.
“The inquest and listening to the evidence around Kim’s death has been incredibly difficult for her but it was something Yvette was determined to do to honour her daughter’s memory. While we’re pleased that we’ve been able to provide Yvette with the answers she deserves, the inquest has identified worrying issues in what happened to Kim.
“Whilst the coroner was unable to find on the balance of probabilities that there was a common source of the herpes infection, she did find that there was a failing in relation to Kim’s care and, specifically, the coroner has found that by 16 May, 2018, there should have been consideration of administering antiviral medication in view of Kim’s blood results, her negative laparotomy, and her lack of improvement despite antibiotic therapy. The Trust's failure to provide antivirals by this date more than minimally contributed to Kim’s death on 22 May, 2018.
“Patient safety should be the fundamental priority in all care. However, we continue to see too many families whose lives have been shattered and who are left to pick up the pieces because of care issues.
“We urge the Hospital Trust to learn lessons from the issues identified during the inquest and also to reflect on whether more can be done to support grieving families going through the most difficult time.
“The findings of the Kirkup review into maternity failings at East Kent Hospitals found, among other issues, that the Trust didn’t acknowledge problems, but was instead was concerned about reputation management. It is vital that families are listened to, to ensure all possible lessons are learned as transparency is key to upholding public confidence in the health service.
“We continue to support Yvette at this upsetting time.” Anna Vroobel
Kim's mum says family badly let down by East Kent Hospitals Trust
Yvette, aged 53, said: “Kim wasn’t just my daughter she was my best friend. She was beautiful inside and out and had the most infectious smile and kind-hearted nature.
“It’s almost impossible to find the words to describe the impact Kim’s death has had on us all and the daily devastation we face.
“I look at Kim’s children every day and, although they bring so much joy, there’s also great sadness that Kim isn’t around to watch them grow and see their achievements. It gives me such a heavy heart that Kim’s children will never get to grow up with their truly amazing mummy. Kim would be so proud of them and how they are developing. Her children will always know how much she loved them.
“The last five years have felt like a real fight for answers. I’ve not been able to grieve properly because I’ve been so focused on getting answers about what happened to Kim and why it happened. It’s consumed my life.
“I’ll always be angry and upset at everything I’ve had to go through to get to this stage. I put my faith in the Hospital Trust that it would investigate my concerns. However, I felt the Trust didn’t really listen to me and instead was more focused on trying to get the issues to go away. This left me trying to navigate a complex system and I wouldn’t even have got to this stage if it wasn’t for the support I’ve had.
“Our family have had to endure almost five years of the added stress and grief that this process and chain of events have brought with it. It’s been emotionally draining and has changed me as a person. I’m a lot less trusting and still find it hard to comprehend how the Hospital Trust has acted in the way it has.
“Whilst I have some answers as to how Kim came by her death, as a mother there are still many questions I have about what happened which remain outstanding.
“I also want the Trust to learn from what has happened and how Kim was badly let down. I want there to be change so families going through the most unimaginable pain are given access to the best help and support, as well as answers as quickly as possible.”
Kim Sampson East Kent Hospitals background
Originally it was announced that no inquest would be held into Kim’s death. However, after evidence came to light it was announced at the end of 2021 there would be a joint hearing to examine how Kim, who also had a daughter, and Samantha died.
A pre-inquest review hearing was previously told the same surgeon and midwife were involved in Kim and Samantha’s care.
Last year the Kirkup Review into maternity and neo-natal services at East Kent Hospitals was published. The review examined up to 200 cases involving mums and babies. It found 97 incidents where mums or babies had died, were injured or had suffered harm and where the outcome could have been different if they had received the care they should have.
Find out more about our expertise in supporting families concerned about the care of a loved one at our dedicated medical negligence section. Alternatively call 0370 1500 100 or contact us to speak to an expert.