Herpes deaths: Surgeon and midwife argued over Caesarean, inquest told

The husband of a woman who died with herpes after giving birth said their midwife and surgeon argued about whether she needed a Caesarean.

Samantha Mulcahy and Kim Sampson died with the virus after the surgeon at the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Trust carried out their Caesareans.

At an inquest into their deaths, Ryan Mulcahy said their midwife and surgeon had a “heated” argument.

His wife eventually had the procedure and died in July 2018.

The surgeon – who cannot be named for legal reasons – previously told the inquest he has never had the virus, and insisted he always wore a mask during surgery.

‘What is going on?’

Mr Mulcahy told the inquest at Maidstone County Hall that his wife had been extremely upset and exhausted during a difficult labour.

He said there were concerns she had pre-eclampsia and that their baby girl may have become stuck.

After discussing options with the midwife, she opted to have a Caesarean, but the surgeon disagreed and said she should keep pushing, the inquest was told.

In a statement, Mr Mulcahy said he looked at Mrs Mulcahy’s mother and thought: “What is going on? We are trusting these people, and they are arguing.”

First-time mother Mrs Mulcahy died from an infection caused by the virus at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford. Her baby survived.

Ms Sampson’s baby boy was delivered at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate six weeks earlier, on 3 May.

She died on 22 May.


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