Published: 06:00, 06 August 2020
| Updated: 10:31, 06 August 2020
A young mum’s life was tragically cut short when she developed deep vein thrombosis just three weeks after giving birth by caesarean section.
Herne Bay resident Jasmine Donkin, 20, had been deemed at low risk of developing the dangerous condition so was not given an extended dose of blood-thinning drugs by doctors following the procedure.
But 22 days after the arrival of her second child, Callie-Grace, the former Canterbury school girl collapsed at home and died later the same day.
A post-mortem examination revealed blood clots had formed in her lungs, starving her brain of oxygen and forcing her heart to stop twice.
Her heartbroken mum has now called for all women undergoing caesarean sections to be prescribed the blood-thinning drug Clexane, and not just those with specific risk factors.
She attended an inquest into her daughter’s death at County Hall in Maidstone on Monday.
The hearing was told how Jasmine’s first child, Storm, was delivered by c-section in 2018 following three miscarriages.
When she found out she was pregnant a second time, Jasmine opted for a planned c-section and on December 9 last year gave birth to a healthy girl at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.
Two weeks later, on December 23, she raised concerns about her surgery wound, but no signs of infection or thrombosis were found.
During a second review four days later, the wound was “red and hot” and Jasmine was prescribed antibiotics, as a small area appeared to be infected.
But not long after paramedics arrived at their flat in Central Parade, Herne Bay, at about 2.45pm, she collapsed with dilated pupils and went into cardiac arrest.
CPR was performed for three hours, with an air ambulance doctor and off-duty anaesthetist helping at the scene.
Once she was stabilised, Jasmine was rushed to the QEQM Hospital in Margate, where doctors worked hard to stabilise her.
But CT scans tragically revealed blood clots in Jasmine’s lungs, which had starved her brain of oxygen.
She suffered a further cardiac arrest and died at 10.27pm the same day.
Following her death, Jasmine’s mum, Kim Connolly, raised concerns that her daughter should have been given blood-thinning drugs after the c-section.
But two investigations - one by the QEQM and another by the independent Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch - concluded risk assessments of Jasmine had been properly carried out in “accordance with protocols and guidance”.
She did not meet the risk factors required to be prescribed an extended dose of Clexane, or any other blood-thinning medication.
The QEQM’s deputy head of midwifery, Hannah Horne, who led the hospital’s investigation, did raise other issues, however.
“My only concern was what was documented on the electronic discharge notification,”she said.
“[It stated] Clexane had been prescribed, but actually it wasn’t, and that was a mistake [for it to be on the notification].”
She also said there was a “lack of clarity over the roles and responsibilities of discharge staff” at William Harvey, but these concerns had “no influence on the mother’s outcome”.
Assistant coroner Scott Matthewson said Jasmine developed a “severe and rapid unexpected development” which led to “extremely rare” blood clots in her lungs.
“The conclusion was that death could not have been avoided and I’m sure that will come as cold comfort to Jasmine’s family and partner,” he said.
He said she died of “natural causes” after developing deep vein thrombosis following a caesarean section; it led to blood clots in her lungs, which caused brain damage and cardiac arrest.
Responding to the conclusion, Mrs Connolly said she believes everybody who has had a caesarean section should be offered blood-thinning injections.
“I think if Jasmine had those she might still be here,” she said.
“I want to make it clear to people that it’s a problem that has to be solved and I will fight it until we get some answers.”
A spokesperson for East Kent Hospitals said: “We offer our deepest condolences to Jasmine’s family.
"We welcome the coroner’s thorough inquiry into Jasmine’s death, which concluded that she died of natural causes as a result of developing a rare type of blood clot and that her death was unavoidable.
“Jasmine had none of the usual risk factors associated with developing blood clots. The coroner noted that Jasmine was correctly assessed as low risk for developing them.
“The coroner noted that the Trust’s thorough investigation found that doctors appropriately followed the relevant Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists guidelines by not prescribing an extended course of blood-thinning medication following a caesarean section.”