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Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 17:36 GMT
Open verdict on childbirth death
Tracey Sampson
Tracey Sampson had chosen a general anaesthetic
An open verdict has been returned by a jury at the inquest into the death of a woman who died after giving birth by Caesarean section.

Tracey Sampson, 36, from Maida Vale, north-west London, died on 6 April, the day after her third son was delivered at the private Portland Hospital.

Following the birth, Mrs Sampson was transferred to St Mary's Hospital in nearby Paddington after suffering breathing difficulties.

The jury at Westminster Coroner's Court said there was not enough evidence to determine why she died.


All the family want is to find out why our daughter went into hospital fit and healthy to have a baby and came out dead

Cyril Gay, father

Post-mortem examinations showed Mrs Sampson died of acute cardiac failure "possibly related to general anaesthetic", the inquest heard.

Caesareans are usually done under local anaesthetic, but Mrs Sampson elected to have a general anaesthetic because she was terrified of needles.

Anaesthetist Kenneth Macleod had been criticised during the hearing for removing Mrs Sampson from the operating theatre where the anaesthetics machine was held.

Family reaction

After she began coming round he put her in the recovery room, but called an ambulance when her condition deteriorated.

Westminster coroner Dr Paul Knapman ruled out a verdict of neglect after hearing that there was no evidence for the link between the "acts and omissions" of Dr Macleod and the death.

After the inquest, Mrs Sampson's family said they would consider suing the Portland Hospital.

Her father Cyril Gay said: "All the family want is to find out why our daughter went into hospital fit and healthy to have a baby and came out dead. Something went wrong."

Internal review

In a statement, Portland Hospital chief executive Judy van den Broek said: "We held a full internal review following this tragedy which identified no contributory system failures at our hospital.

"This has been confirmed by the evidence given at the inquest.

"That evidence though will be reviewed as part of our continuous development programme to give our patients the highest quality care for which we are renowned."


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See also:

28 Jun 02 | England
18 Apr 02 | England
16 Jan 02 | England
15 Jan 02 | England
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