Tuesday, 19 May 2009

New mother deaths 'probably linked'

It is "extremely unlikely" that the deaths of two new mothers are not linked, an expert has said.

Mark Enright, professor of molecular epidemiology at Imperial College, London, said he had concerns after two women died from the same infection after giving birth on the same day in the same hospital.

Teachers Amy Kimmance, 39, and Jasmine Pickett, 29, both gave birth at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester on December 21. After they were discharged, Mrs Kimmance, who had a girl, died on December 23 and Mrs Pickett, who had a boy, died on December 24. Both women died from complications caused by a group A streptococcal infection.

The Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust has said investigations so far show their deaths were coincidental. A spokeswoman said that Mrs Kimmance developed fatal toxic shock syndrome as a result of a group A streptococcal infection while Mrs Pickett died from a sudden onset of severe pneumonia, likely to have been caused by a group A streptococcal infection.

Prof Enright said it was possible the deaths were not linked, but he believed there was a high chance they were. He said: "If you look at the national figures, you are talking about around 100 women dying after giving birth in the UK every year."

The chances of two women dying after giving birth on the same day in the same hospital from the same infection were very small, he said. "It's extremely unlikely in my view that they are not linked," he said.
Source: The Metro.

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