Kim Sampson, 29, and Samantha Mulcahy, 32, died after becoming infected with herpes shortly after giving birth by C-section at different hospitals in Kent in 2018
Inquest dates have been set to investigate the deaths of two women who died with herpes infections shortly after giving birth.
Kim Sampson, 29, and Samantha Mulcahy, 32, died weeks apart after their babies were delivered by Caesarean at different hospitals in Kent.
Their families have campaigned for answers after a BBC investigation found the two women had been operated on by the same unnamed surgeon, who may have been the source of the infection.
The inquests have been listed to open and adjourn in Maidstone on January 4, with a pre-inquest review the following month and full inquests at a later date.
Yvette Sampson, Ms Sampson’s mother, said: “We’ve wanted this since Kim died in 2018 – it’s been a long time coming.
“We hope we are finally going to get answers to the questions we’ve always had – both for ourselves and for Kim’s children.”
Herpes infections are commonly found in the genitals and on the face, often with mild symptoms.
Ms Sampson’s baby boy – her second child – was delivered at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate in May 2018, but she died at the end of the month in hospital in London after becoming infected.
In July, first-time mother Mrs Mulcahy died from an infection caused by the same virus at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.
Although in 2019 the coroner wrote to both families to say the women died of natural causes, an investigation found the virus that had infected the two women was genetically identical, KentLive reports.
Speaking to the BBC, sexual health consultant Peter Greenhouse said the virus is likely to have entered the women’s abdomens during their C-sections.
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Coroner Katrina Hepburn said: “I am now of the view that there is reason to suspect that the infection may have arisen as a consequence of a necessary medical procedure, namely the Caesarean section, and in those circumstances, I have a statutory duty to investigate further.”
Dr Rebecca Martin, chief medical officer for East Kent Hospitals, said: “Our deepest sympathies are with the families and friends of Kimberley and Samantha.
“We will do everything possible to support these inquests and our thoughts are with Kimberley and Samantha’s families at this time.”