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Malnourished mum in coma after giving birth, Poplar inquest told

PUBLISHED: 07:39 04 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:33 05 October 2010

A BADLY malnourished young mum slipped into a coma and died just weeks after giving birth, an East London inquest has heard. Elizabeth Addis was rushed to the Royal London Hospital in a coma, the Poplar Coroner was told

By Johnny McDevitt

A BADLY malnourished young mum slipped into a coma and died just weeks after giving birth, an East London inquest has heard.

Elizabeth Addis was rushed to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel in a coma in March, 2008, the Poplar Coroner was told yesterday.

The 29-year-old shop worker from Loughton died that April, a month after giving birth to her first child. The baby survived.

Elizabeth had been transferred to the Royal London’s Intensive Care unit from the Princess Alexandra Hospital at Harlow in Essex.

She had found it increasingly hard to eat and drink before falling into the coma, the inquest heard.

A post mortem revealed cause of death as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a respiratory distress condition, and benign pancreatic problems.

Wernicke disease, usually linked to alcoholism, results in vitamin B deficiency which makes it difficult for the body to produce energy, leading to malnutrition.

The clinical governance midwife at Princess Alexandra, Chris Edwards, told the hearing that regular tests had found fatty deposits in her urine.

The hospital’s Dr Alice Dain said this was consistent with Wernicke syndrome, when the body cannot get enough energy and switches to fatty production detectable in urine.

The inquest continues.


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