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Inquest concerning mothers who died from disseminated herpes simplex virus after caesarean sections concludes: Jemma Lee acts for the Sampson family

26th July 2023

Maidstone Coroner’s Court has concluded the joined inquests touching upon the deaths of Kimberley Sampson and Samantha Mulcahy. Both women died from disseminated herpes simplex virus in 2018 having undergone caesarean sections at different Hospitals within the same Trust. Following a seven-day inquest earlier this year, the Coroner has now formally concluded that it was unlikely on the evidence heard that both women were infected by a common source. It was however found that Ms Sampson should have been treated with antivirals sooner, and that there was a delay in recognising her deteriorating liver function. The delay in commencing antivirals more than minimally contributed to Ms Sampson’s death on 22 May 2018.

It was found that more needs to be done nationally to raise awareness of HSV as a potential diagnosis to exclude in maternal sepsis pathways and for there to be early consideration of antivirals. The Coroner considered that on the evidence heard early recognition and early treatment with Acyclovir was more likely to result in a positive outcome. It is therefore intended that a Regulation 28 report will be made to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in light of these findings.

The case has gained significant media attention and press coverage: BBC, The Guardian, The Independent .

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