In May and July 2018, two British women died of catastrophic herpes infections shortly after giving birth by cesarean section at facilities overseen by the East Kent Hospitals Trust. Their grieving families are not told that nothing connects them.
But an investigation carried out by the BBC learned otherwise — women have shared that a surgeon may have accidentally injected the herpes virus directly into their uterus after he made a caesarean section.
On May 3, 2018, Kimberly Sampson, a 29-year-old mother of a barber, gave birth. The process started normally but quickly slowed, causing her fetus to get stuck in her pelvis, requiring an emergency cesarean section. She was injured during surgery and received a blood transfusion, the BBC reports. Although in great pain and difficulty walking, she and her newborn son were discharged from the hospital. They went to her mother’s house, where Kimberly resided.
Days later, her mother, Yvette Sampson, said her daughter was in unbearable pain and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital, where she was incorrectly diagnosed with bacterial sepsis. When antibiotics failed to treat the condition, she was put under the knife again when doctors performed exploratory surgery to determine the infection. Meanwhile, records show she was being treated with the popular herpes drug Aciclovir.
A few days later, doctors at Kings College Hospital in London diagnosed the problem: a severe herpes infection. She died on May 22, 2018, while in intensive care.
Two months later, the BBC reported that Samantha Mulcahy, 32, a nurse, died of a similar condition after being delivered by C-Section at a hospital also part of the East Kent Hospital Trust. It was the surgeon who operated on Kimberly Sampson, who the BBC has not named, who performed the surgery.
Mulcahy went into labor a month before her due date. The hospital she was taken to is managed by the same regional trust as where Sampson gave birth; both hospitals share the same doctor, part of the UK’s National Health System.
Mulcahy’s labor also began to go awry and after 17 hours with no progress, her daughter was delivered by cesarean section. Her blood pressure seemed consistent with symptoms of preeclampsia, so doctors kept her in the hospital for monitoring. According to BBC medical records, her blood pressure improved but her body began to swell. Like Sampson, doctors misdiagnosed her with bacterial sepsis. Again, the antibiotics used to treat that disorder didn’t work. Four days later, her organs began to shut down and she passed away. Her autopsy report states that she died from either “disseminated herpes simplex type 1 infection” or catastrophic herpes infection.
Both of the women’s children survived and were not infected with the virus. But in both cases, the new mothers had never had any type of herpes before. Nearly 70% of the adult population has been infected with genital herpes or herpes by the age of 25, according to the Herpes Virus Association cited in the BBC report. A primary herpes infection as an adult can be much more serious than a childhood viral infection. Because the fatal infection is their first exposure to the virus, they have no antibodies to fight it.
Although the families of both women felt there was something more to their tragedy, a year after their death they were told there would be no investigation because “there is no connection”. “between the two cases. Both were told that new mothers almost certainly had herpes before being hospitalized.
The BBC began the story as they were investigating the wrongful death of an infant named Harry Richford, who died in the care of the East Kent Hospital Trust midwifery department in 2019. The reporters found several preventable infant deaths in their study, but they also stumbled across the story of Sampson and Mulcahy, which they begin investigating in 2021.
Their research showed that Britain’s health agency, Public Health England, looked at the records of two women to find the source of the herpes virus that killed them. Sampson’s family asked the team for access to records, which in fact suggest a link — and an email sequence that shows an attempt to determine if the herpes virus was genetically similar in the two cases. death or not, although the family has been informed there is none.
An email seen by the BBC shows confidence finally learned that the same midwife and the same surgeon performed both surgeries. The private micropathology lab was even tasked with classifying the virus. In a notice from the lab, a technician asked the suspected surgeon for a gauze or wound swab because these looked like a “surgical infection”.
The trust did not provide the surgeon’s sample, the BBC reported. And it does not share suspicions about the infection of both families or that some parts of the virus are identical. “This seems to be the most likely explanation [is] that these strains may be the same,” the lab wrote in an email dated October 2018.” This also adds to the suggestion that these two women were infected with the same virus. “
The BBC asked sexual health consultant Peter Greenhouse to document both deaths. He concluded that the most likely situation was that the surgeon had a herpes sore or herpes infection on his finger. Although he wore gloves during both surgeries, even a small pinhole could be enough to transmit the virus to a woman.
“The only usual source here, in a hospital-based scenario, would be the surgeon performing the operations,” Greenhouse told the BBC, surmising that the surgeon “directly seeded the acne.” blisters on women’s stomachs.” If there’s any other form of contact, a woman gets hurt – like herpes or genital herpes. Neither of them, according to their autopsy reports seen by the BBC. Most likely, the surgeon was unaware that he even had this disease. “Many of these will happen without any obvious signs, or they will be so small that you won’t be able to identify them,” he said. The BBC interviewed four other medical professionals, who agreed.
When asked about the possibility, the East Kent Hospitals Trust told the BBC in a statement that the surgeon took part in a “verbal” physical and said he had no history of herpes infection and No injury to the hand. But he was not tested or tested for the virus.
“East Kent hospitals have sought expert support from Public Health England (PHE) following the tragic deaths of Kimberley and Samantha in 2018,” the trust statement said. “The surgeon who performed both caesarean sections did not have any hand injuries that could have caused infection, or any history of viruses. Kimberley and Samantha’s treatment was based on different symptoms that appeared during their illness. Our thoughts are with their families, and we will do all we can to answer their concerns.”
The families are now petitioning the coroner to open an investigation into their deaths.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/two-new-moms-died-from-catastrophic-herpes-did-the-same-doctor-give-it-to-them?source=articles&via=rss Two new mothers died of catastrophic Herpes disease. Did the same doctor give it to them?