Kent: Inquest dates set to look into ‘linked’ herpes deaths of two new mothers

Ms Sampson's baby boy was delivered at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate in May 2018, but she died at the end of the month. Credit: ITV New Meridan

Inquest dates have been set to investigate the deaths of two women who died with herpes infections shortly after giving birth.

New mothers Kim Sampson, 29, and Samantha Mulcahy, 32, died weeks apart after their babies were delivered by Caesarean at different hospitals in Kent.

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.”

Mrs Mulcahy died from an infection caused by the same virus at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford. Credit: ITV News Meridian

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.

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.

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.”