Chesterfield hospital told to take action over death of mum denied blood-thinning drug

  • Video report by Adam Fowler

The family of a young woman who died within minutes of giving birth have spoken of their heartbreak after a coroner found doctors failed to give her essential medication.

Jessica Hodgkinson, 26, suffered a fatal cardiac arrest moments after daughter Phoebe was born at Chesterfield Royal Hospital in May 2021.

Her inquest heard she should have been given a blood-thinning drug up to the point of birth, but did not receive the medication as planned.

Miss Hodgkinson's mother, Donna Pugh, said: "I'm so mad. It's just such a simple drug and she should have been on it and she should still be here.

"I've never suffered with PTSD or depression in my life, but obviously losing your children, how we lost Jess, it broke my heart."

Grant Finney, Miss Hodgkinson's brother, added: "We were so happy that we got Phoebe but at the same time [we] feel sad that, if the right communication was given, on the balance of probabilities, she'd still be with us. It's a bitter pill to swallow."

The inquest heard that Miss Hodgkinson had a condition called Klippel-Tren­aunay Syn­­drome (KTS), which put her at high risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

A month before she had her daughter, she was prescribed the anti-clotting drug tinzaparin.

But she was not given the drug as planned. Moments after Phoebe was born on 14 May – 12 weeks early by emergency Caesarean section – she suffered a pulmonary embolism caused by DVT.

Jack said he planned to propose to Jessica. Credit: Family handout

Her partner, Jack Knowles, said: "She was the most beautiful, warm hearted person you'd ever meet in your life. She was just beautiful in every way.

"I was going to propose to her at the baby shower. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. From that moment my life changed completely.

"It's hard to come to terms with and the main thing is that Phoebe's without her mother.  It's heartbreaking."

In a prevention of future deaths report issued to Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, assistant coroner Matthew Kewley criticised a breakdown in communication which he said was crucial in the failure to administer tinzaparin to Miss Hodgkinson.

He added: "In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe your organisation has the power to take such action."

Miss Hodgkinson's family have now instructed lawyers to investigate.

In a statement, the NHS trust said: "We offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family... we have responded to the coroner and put in new processes to prevent similar problems in the future and, in line with our normal process we have expressed in writing, our apologies, for the failings found, to Jess's family."

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