New mothers who died of herpes at weekly intervals ‘may have been infected by the same surgeon’

The families of Kimberly Sampson, 29, and Samantha Mulchay, 32, are seeking an investigation after the two women died six weeks apart from an infection caused by HSV-1.

Samantha Mulcahy, pictured here with her husband Ryan, died in 2018 after giving birth

Two new mothers who died six weeks apart after getting herpes could have been infected by the same surgeon who performed their caesarean section, it has been claimed.

Kimberly Sampson, 29, and Samantha Mulchay, 32, both died of an infection caused by HSV-1, one of two strains of the virus.

The doctor performed a caesarean section on both women three years ago. Following a BBC investigation, the families, who were told there was no link between the deaths, are now calling for an investigation to be opened.

Mrs. Sampson and Mrs. Mulchay died just six weeks apart, in May and July 2018.

The East Kent Hospitals trust has said they could not identify the source of the infection after the probe. They said the surgeon – who has not been named – had no history with the virus, they said.

Kimberly Sampson ‘could have been infected by the same surgeon’, a study showed

Sexual health consultant Peter Greenhouse, who investigated the deaths, said it was “very unlikely” that women had been infected before being admitted to hospital.

He told the BBC that it was “most likely” that the infection was given to them by the surgeon by accident and it was possible that the surgeon could have had a herpes infection on his finger.

It “could have directly sown herpes into the women’s abdomen,” the expert suggested.

He added: “The only common source here, in a hospital-based scenario, would be the surgeon who performed the surgeries.”

Mrs. Mulchay went into labor four weeks before her term in June. She entered William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent – run by the same Trust as Ms Sampson’s hospital, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

The East Kent Hospitals trust has said it could not identify the source of the infection



Yvette Sampson, the victim’s mother, told the BBC: “She was funny, she was loving and she had lots of friends.

“She was an ingenious mummy, and that was what she wanted to be. She worsened day after day – she could not eat, she could not sleep.

“When the kids are a little older, they need to know why their mother died.”

In a statement, the East Kent Hospitals Trust said the surgeon underwent a verbal occupational health check.

Yvette Sampson, mother of Kimberley, says the children need answers



They said he had no history of herpes infection and no hand injuries – but he was not tested for the virus at the time of the surgeries.

Dr. Rebecca Martin, Chief Medical Officer of East Kent Hospitals, said:

“Our deepest sympathy is with the families and friends of Kimberley and Samantha.

East Kent Hospitals sought specialist support from Public Health England (PHE) following the tragic deaths of Kimberley and Samantha in 2018.

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The studies, led by the Trust and Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, took advice from a number of experts and concluded that it was not possible to identify the source of any of the infections.

“The surgeon who performed both caesareans had no hand injuries that could have caused infection, or any history of the virus.

Kimberley and Samantha’s treatment was based on the various symptoms that appeared during their illness.

“Our thoughts are with their families and we will do everything we can to answer their concerns.”

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