A mother who gave birth to a baby conceived naturally after years of failed fertility treatment died in hospital after refusing a blood transfusion because she was a Jehovah’s Witness.
London Evening Standard reports that Adeline Keh, 40(pictured) became critically ill after her son Mawsi was delivered by caesarean section at the Homerton hospital. She died three weeks later in another hospital after refusing potentially life-saving treatment.
Yesterday her husband told of his grief that “we never came home as a family” as it emerged that the case was one of four maternal deaths in eight months involving the Homerton.
The hospital, in Hackney, has asked NHS England to review the deaths to check for any evidence of common failures in care. The review is expected to be completed next month.
Speaking for the first time since his wife’s death, Kwaku Keh told the Standard: “My wife and I were best friends. We had been trying to have a baby for some time but it had not happened for us even with the help of IVF.
Mrs Keh remained in hospital after her son’s birth on September 18 last year to receive antibiotics for an infection. She developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and was transferred to Papworth, a specialist heart and lung hospital in Cambridge.
She had told doctors of her refusal to receive blood products, and lawyers confirmed her wishes had to be obeyed. She was put on a machine at Papworth but it could not effectively re-oxygenate her blood without a transfusion. She died two days later.
An inquest last month found Mrs Keh died on October 19 last year from a combination of ARDS, sepsis, an infection in the caesarean wound and “refusal of transfusion on religious grounds”.
Coroner Belinda Cheney, in a narrative verdict, said Mrs Keh died from a “rare infective complication”. The source of the infection had been impossible to detect until the post-mortem and the decision not to receive blood “may have compromised the final medical intervention”.
Mr. Keh, a lawyer living in Walthamstow, said: “Each time I went to pick her up [from the Homerton] I was told that she could not come home. Eventually my wife lost her fight and passed away and we never got to come home as a family.”
Source: London Evening Standard