Inquest announced into the deaths of two women who died from Herpes

An inquest has been announced into the deaths of two women, Kim Sampson and Samantha Mulcahy, who died after contracting Herpes following Caesarean section surgery at hospitals within East Kent NHS Trust in 2018.

A BBC investigation has discovered that the Herpes virus, which infected both maternity patients of East Kent NHS Trust and led to their deaths, was genetically identical.

The tragic deaths of Kim Sampson and Samantha Mulcahy arose after they were both operated on by the same surgeon, a few weeks apart. The women were patients at different hospitals but both hospitals were part of the East Kent NHS Trust.

The Herpes virus is extremely common and infections are generally mild. As such, deaths caused by Herpes are almost unheard of in healthy people. In 2019 the Coroner initially concluded that the women had died of natural causes and there was nothing to link their deaths. However, the Coroner has since confirmed that there is reason to suspect that the infection may have arisen as a consequence of the Caesarean section – and that there is a statutory duty to investigate matters further.

The Inquest formally opened on 4 January 2022.

If you have any questions arising from this update or would like to speak with a medical negligence specialist solicitor, please contact Linda Williams on 02920 391773 or email her at

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