Thursday 16 August 2018

Doctors save unborn babies of woman who died while pregnant - 'We tell the boys mummy is an angel in heaven'

The twin boys will tragically never know their mother Pic: Stock image
The twin boys will tragically never know their mother Pic: Stock image Newsdesk Newsdesk

A "fantastic" mum tragically died from heart failure while pregnant but doctors managed to save both of her unborn sons.

Kelly Forrest (36) was more than eight months pregnant when she started to feel unwell in June 2014, with symptoms such as vomiting and dizziness.

She was sent home from Hull Royal Infirmary's Maple Ward and told to take iron for anaemia, the next day she was sent home from Priory Children's Centre and told to come back if she felt worse but died days later, a post-mortem found she had dilated cardiomyopathy.

Her twin sons were delivered by cesarean section and are healthy but her family are understandably devastated the boys and her other three children have lost Kelly, who was from Hull in the UK.

Her mother Anne Campbell told the Hull Daily Mail: "The only positive from this horrendous situation has been the two beautiful boys that were added to our family. Kelly was a fantastic daughter and mother.

"She was very strong headed and wouldn’t hold back on her opinions and thoughts, so she’d expect us to speak out and highlight what happened.

"We tell the boys mummy is an angel and in heaven. She will certainly be looking down on them and she would have loved every minute of them."

Kelly told midwives during an earlier appointment that her dad died from hereditary heart condition cardiomyopathy, which can be incredibly risky for pregnant women.

Despite this it was never noted in the hospital's electronic system so staff didn't know she had a family history of heart disease.

Anne is furious and called the error "unforgivable."

She said: "How on earth can something so significant simply not be entered into vital medical records when it is known to be dangerous to pregnant women?

"It has been very difficult to accept that, despite the Trust admitting a string of errors in Kelly’s care, this error at the start - impacting on her entire care when pregnant - did not contribute to her death.

"I am certain Kelly would have been monitored much most closely had it being known, they even admitted it should have been an ‘escalated matter’ during her pregnancy.

"The worrying thing is how many basic errors like this are being made across maternity care? What else should midwives and doctors be aware of when treating patients but are not? These kinds of mistakes are completely unforgivable."

An investigation found the error had occurred after “an unintended skill based memory lapse as the patients’ family history was not escalated appropriately or acted upon at any point during her pregnancy.”

Details of what happened have been shared across the NHS to act as a warning to staff to try and ensure hand-written patient notes are uploaded to the electronic system.

Mike Wright, chief nurse at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This is a very sad set of circumstances and we would like to offer our condolences once again to Ms Forrest’s family for their loss.

“This incident was thoroughly investigated by the Trust back in 2014, and representatives of the Trust subsequently met with Ms Forrest’s family to discuss the findings in detail.

“Various learning points were highlighted during the investigation, all of which have since been acted upon.

“However, should members of Ms Forrest’s family have questions which still remain unanswered, we would be happy to speak with them again and would encourage contact with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service in the first instance.”

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