A Doncaster coroner is urging health chiefs to look into the whooping cough vaccination scheme after the death of a tiny baby from the infection.
The inquest into the death of 29-day-old Isabella Drew heard there were several ‘missed opportunities’ to offer mother Hayley Drew the potentially life saving vaccine during her pregnancy.
Nicola Mundy, Doncaster coroner, said that had Mrs Drew been given the vaccine, it is likely her twin daughter would not have died when she did.
She said: “I will be writing to the Department of Health and NHS England expressing my concerns arising from this and asking them to look at it on a national basis, in the hope other deaths could be prevented.”
Isabella’s inquest heard there had been several ‘missed opportunities’ by GPs, community midwives and health workers and staff at Doncaster Royal infirmary to inform Mrs Drew about the vaccination during her pregnancy.
Mrs Drew, she said the first time she was asked if she’d had the vaccination was at an appointment with a midwife on Friday, July 31, when she was 35 weeks pregnant.
Mrs Drew, of Hermes Close, Bawtry said: “I mentioned the whooping cough vaccine at the hospital and the woman said she would find out if I needed to have it.
“She told me the hospital didn’t do them.
“The biggest regret of my life is not questioning it.
“If I’d had the vaccination it is likely our beautiful Bella would still be with us.”
A vaccine programme was introduced by the Department of Health in 2012, following a rise in the number of cases.
Recording a narrative verdict, Miss Mundy said: “Isabella Drew died from the effects of whooping cough on September 9, 2014.
“Her mother had not been given the whooping cough vaccine during her pregnancy.
“There were a number of missed opportunities on the part of healthcare professionals to advise Mrs Drew of the need for the vaccine.
“Had they done so, she would have accepted and this would have significantly reduced the risk of developing pertussis. Isabella did develop whooping cough which rapidly led to her death.
“On the balance of probabilities, had Mrs Drew been given the vaccination ,Isabella would not have died at the time she did.”
Isabella’s twin sister Gabriella was also tested for the condition, but given the all clear.