Daksha Emson was a young psychiatrist who had been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder when she was a teenager. When she got married, she wanted to have babies hence she stopped her medications.

She and her husband were lucky. They were blessed with a little girl in June 2000. They called her Freya. On the 9th of October 2000, Daksha ended two lives – her own and Freya’s.

The investigation report highlighted a few things :

– Failure of professionals to communicate effectively and to co-ordinate care appropriately contributed to the adverse outcome in this case – no liaison between psychiatry and obstetric services.

– Care Plan was not generated as she had informal consultations with her psychiatrist for fear of being stigmatised by her colleagues.

– A ‘Closed loop’ of care was not established for her. Although she had a Community Psychiatric nurse, she was not being closely monitored and links with other members of the multidisciplinary team were not established.

– The nature of Daksha’s illness could have been predicted if her ‘relapse signature’ (collection of warning signs) had been identified. It wasn’t.

Postnatal Depression continues to be a major cause of death of young mothers. Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation does a good job of de-stigmatising it and raising awareness.

Same old tragedies. Same old themes.



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