Midwives missed the high blood pressure that killed ‘remarkable’ mother, 31, shortly after she gave birth, inquest is told
- Claire Morton, 31, complained of a ‘bad headache’ before a series of seizures
- She died from a bleed on the brain after her daughter was born in April 2019
- Inquest heard midwives failed to compare high blood pressure reading with on taken earlier
Midwives failed to spot high blood pressure in a new mother who died shortly after giving birth, an inquest heard.
Claire Morton, 31, had complained of a ‘bad headache’ before a series of seizures at the Rosie Hospital in Cambridge.
She died from a bleed on the brain after her daughter was born in April 2019.
Shortly after her admission, midwives failed to compare Mrs Morton’s high blood pressure with a reading taken earlier during her pregnancy, the inquest at Peterborough Town Hall heard.
Claire Morton, 31, complained of a ‘bad headache’ before a series of seizures and died from a bleed on the brain after her daughter was born in April 2019 (stock image)
Coroner David Heming said: ‘The moderate hypertension was not recognised.’
Hospital staff should have calculated a Modified Early Warning Score which would have prompted an obstetric and anaesthetic review, he added. It was only later that evening when staff recorded further blood pressure readings that were ‘markedly elevated’.
Speech therapist Mrs Morton died the following day having ‘suffered an unsurvivable intracerebral haemorrhage’.
The bleed was caused by eclampsia in pregnancy and HELLP syndrome, a rare liver and blood clotting disorder, which staff had not diagnosed, the inquest heard.
Mrs Morton’s husband Andrew said his wife previously worked for Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Rosie Hospital, and had ‘dedicated her whole career to speech and language therapy and helping people’.
The inquest heard that midwives at the Rosie Hospital in Cambridge failed to compare Mrs Morton’s high blood pressure with a reading taken earlier during her pregnancy (stock image)
In a narrative conclusion published on Monday, the coroner described Mrs Morton as ‘quite a remarkable lady’.
Her cousin Sophie Daud, who plans to run the London Marathon in her memory, said: ‘She brightened the life of every person she interacted with – from her friends and family to her colleagues and clients. We all miss her so very much.’
Cambridge hospitals trust chief nurse Lorraine Szeremeta apologised ‘unreservedly’ to Mrs Morton’s family.
She added: ‘In response to this incident, the trust promptly initiated a comprehensive review of Claire’s care, taking immediate steps to strengthen existing processes.
‘This included improvements to training and education programmes for maternity staff and building in additional safety checks to ensure improved communication.’