Midwife who concealed Hepatitis C from hospital bosses infected mother as she was giving birth
A Cambridge University researcher has been left ‘devastated’ after being infected with hepatitis C by a midwife while giving birth.
Fatima Abdul Hussein, 28, contracted the infection when the woman inserted a tube into her arm.
The midwife had tested positive for the virus in 2004 but concealed this from her bosses.
A midwife infected a soon-to-be-mother with Hepatitis C at St.Mary's Hospital, pictured, in west London
After the birth of her son Ridah, her first child, Mrs Hussein suffered acute tiredness and her skin and eyes turned yellow.
When she discovered she was infected she challenged staff at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, West London.
Astonishingly, staff suggested she had caught hepatitis C from using drugs or at the dentist, Mrs Hussein claimed.
The infection, which can cause liver failure, is commonly spread through drug use and promiscuous sexual behaviour.
Mrs Hussein, a biochemistry PhD student, is angry at the hospital’s initial alleged suggestion that she brought the infection into the maternity unit.
She claims staff asked her ‘ridiculous questions’ and had an ‘it cannot be us’ attitude because they used sterile gloves and gels.
Mrs Hussein, who lives in London, was sure she had not contracted the infection outside the hospital because she was tested before the birth and was given the all-clear.
Despite the Department of Health introducing legislation in 2002 demanding all workers are tested the midwife managed to keep her illness a secret
Her son was not infected during his birth in the summer of 2011.
She said: ‘I’m living in constant fear regarding my son and family members because if any one of them gets infected I’m sure the finger will be pointed at me.’
Asked how she felt about the medic who infected her, Mrs Hussein told ITV’s London Tonight: ‘She is bringing new lives into the world. I don’t know when she looks at herself in the mirror what she thinks about what she’s done.’
The midwife has been dismissed and Scotland Yard is investigating an allegation of grievous bodily harm made by the NHS. The case has been referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
In 2002 the Department of Health said hospital staff carrying out ‘exposure prone procedures’ should be given a test for hepatitis C.
However, the rules applied only to new staff and the midwife in this case was already working at the hospital.
Between 50 per cent and 80 per cent of hepatitis C patients are cured after treatment. Mrs Hussein fears the infection will prevent her working in scientific research and is taking legal action against the hospital.
Her solicitor, John Gillman, said: ‘She is devastated by what has happened. At the moment her prognosis is unclear. She is extremely upset at suggestions she contracted the infection herself.’
A spokesman for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said their investigation into Mrs Hussein’s care ‘included a discussion with the patient about all possible routes of infection’ as well as testing staff.