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Mum bled to DEATH

PUBLISHED: 09:58 27 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:18 23 August 2010

Chioma Nkwocha died in childrbirth after losing four pints of blood. Doctors tried CPR for nearly an hour to try and save her.

Chioma Nkwocha died in childrbirth after losing four pints of blood. Doctors tried CPR for nearly an hour to try and save her.

A FAMILY is taking legal action against a hospital trust after a young mother bled to death following a caesarean. Chioma Nkwocha died on April 14 last year, six hours after giving birth to her daughter Maia at Darent Valley hospital, Dartford from catas

A FAMILY is taking legal action against a hospital trust after a young mother bled to death following a caesarean.

Chioma Nkwocha died on April 14 last year, six hours after giving birth to her daughter Maia at Darent Valley hospital, Dartford from catastrophic internal bleeding. On Tuesday, an inquest at Dartford Coroner's Court concluded that Mrs Nkwocha, 28, from Nigeria, died of death by misadventure.

Solicitors Fairweathers acting on behalf of the family, who live in Gravesend, confirmed they will be taking legal action after evidence submitted to the inquest showed inadequacies in her monitoring at the hospital.

A spokesman for Fairweathers said: "The level and quality of Chioma's monitoring will now be the subject of further enquiries by the family's solicitor with a view to investigating a civil claim in medical negligence against the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust."

Grieving husband Festus Nkwocha said in a statement: "During pregnancy Chiome asked me if I wanted a girl or a boy. I asked for a girl who looks just like me. That is exactly what she gave me. It is a tragedy that Chioma will not be here to see her daughter grow into the lovely and adorable girl that the family can see."

Guildford-born Mrs Nkwocha lived in Nigeria but came to stay with family in Gravesend so she could have her baby at Darent Valley. Pathologist Sebastian Lucas said the cause of death was due to a large haemorrhage in the abdomen losing more than two litres of blood

But consultant obstetrician Robert McDermot and Dr Moffat El Said, who performed the caesarean, said there was no sign or symptoms of bleeding, the coroner heard. Mr McDermot said Mrs Nkwocha had pre-eclampsia, which can affect blood pressure, urine and cause other problems. He added: "Her pulse rate was completely incompatible with the presence of internal bleeding."

Pethrona Young, who was one of four midwives caring for Mrs Nkwocha, said she raised the alarm at around 8.45pm as her blood pressure had dropped, her pulse rate had increased and she was frothing around her mouth. She went into arrest and was given CPR from 9.19pm for around 50 minutes but was pronounced dead at 10.15pm. But Ms Young was questioned about an anomaly in her notes which she admitted had not been written up immediately after she made notes on scrap paper which she later destroyed.

Recording a verdict of misadventure, Coroner Christopher Mattocks said: "This is a set of desperately sad circumstances in what should have been a set of happy circumstances."

He added: "I have heard no evidence that causes me to question the accuracy and veracity of the notes taken but it is important that the notes are seen to be accurate."

A spokesman for Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust said: "We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mrs Nkwocha. These are tragic circumstances that resulted in the loss of this young mother's life through a rare complication following her caesarean section. Over the years steps have been taken to minimise the risks during childbirth but these can never be wholly excluded.

"The Trust acknowledges the coroner's finding and will be reviewing the process of record keeping in traumatic situations."

elizabeth.thornton@archant.co.uk

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