Investigation after death of mother at Romford hospital

An external investigation has been launched following the death of a mum who died shortly after giving birth at Queen’s Hospital.

Violet Stephens, 35, was admitted to hospital when she was 24 weeks pregnant because of her high blood pressure.

She subsequently �complained of gastric pain and was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, which can lead to �problems with the liver.

Mrs Stephens was �taken for an emergency caesarean section on April 9 almost four days after �being �admitted.

Her third son, Christian, was delivered alive but Mrs Stephens, who had recently moved to �Romford, died hours later.

Her sister, Kitty Mhango, a midwife, �believes Mrs Stephens should have received the caesarean section days earlier.

The 53-year-old said: “They should have done it earlier rather than wait. Why did they wait four days after she was admitted?

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“HELLP syndrome �requires early intervention, which might have saved her life, but instead Violet didn’t get to spend any time with her son.”

Mrs Stephens’ body was due to be flown back to Malawi this week, and a funeral was to be held on Sunday.

Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen’s, is awaiting the results of a full external �investigation into Mrs Stephens’ care. It was �being carried out by an independent senior obstetrician and midwife.

Stephen Burgess, the trust’s medical director, said: “Our thoughts and �condolences are with Mrs Stephens’ family at this extremely upsetting time.”

“A consultant and �senior midwives were fully involved in all �decisions concerning her care, and the care of her baby.

“It would be inappropriate to comment �further until we have the results of the external investigation.

“We are liaising closely with Mrs Stephens’ family to ensure they are kept fully informed.”

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