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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Death of pregnant Ulverston mum, 29 - inquest

MYSTERY surrounds the death of an expectant mother.

An inquest into the death of 29-year-old Niran Aukhaj yesterday heard the cause of death was unascertainable.

Mrs Aukhaj had been taken to Furness General Hospital on April 21 last year after her 10-year-old son found her collapsed on the floor.

She was pronounced dead at 3.10am, shortly after arriving at hospital.

Mrs Aukhaj was around 23 weeks pregnant at the time.

The mother-of-one, of Bigland Drive, Ulverston, experienced a number of problems during her pregnancy, including high blood pressure.

The inquest at Barrow Town Hall heard that staff at Furness General Hospital had failed to take Mrs Aukhaj’s blood pressure and a urine sample at a routine check-up at her last appointment, seven days before she died.

Mrs Aukhaj should have met with her consultant Probas Kumar Misra after seeing a team of diabetic specialists on April 14, but did not get to see him.

Husband Jay Aukhaj said: “After she was with the diabetes team she was told to go home by a member of the hospital staff and they said they would see her next time.”

Mr Misra told the inquest: “I have no explanation as to why she did not see me that day.”

Community midwife for South Ulverston, Katherine Hampson, was twice visited by Mrs Aukhaj.

She said: “Mrs Aukhaj was identified as a high-risk pregnancy because of her diabetes, but the results of the examinations I performed on consultations were within the normal limits.”

Dr Marek Witkowski, consultant pathologist at Furness General Hospital in Barrow, carried out a post mortem on Mrs Aukhaj.

He said: “It is possible that eclampsia could have been the cause of death, but after consulting with two other doctors independent from this case and carefully looking over the notes, there is no way I can say for sure that was the cause of death.

“There are a number of possibilities and at this stage I am unable to say what caused the death.”

Despite being unable to come to a conclusion over the cause of death, South and East Cumbria Coroner Ian Smith recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

He said: “Mrs Aukhaj should have seen Mr Misra, but sadly for reasons nobody can explain that never happened.

“She should have seen him but did not and now there is no record of a urine sample having been taken or blood pressure reading.

“We can never know if that is significant or not.

“The cause of death will be recorded as unascertainable but there is nothing to suggest that it was anything other than natural causes.

“Therefore, I can record a verdict of natural causes.”

Peter Dyer, medical director of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, said: “For anyone to lose a wife and unborn baby during pregnancy is a tragedy and our heartfelt sympathy goes to Niran’s husband, Jay, and her family.

“Niran’s death was sudden, unexpected and the cause is still unexplained.

“The doctors, nurses and midwives who were involved with the care of Niran during her pregnancy were shocked and upset by her death and, as is always the case with sudden deaths, we have looked closely at what happened to see if there are lessons to learn.

“As a result of this review we have strengthened the procedures at the joint obstetric and diabetic clinic to ensure that every patient is seen by both teams on every occasion.”

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