Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Blood sample returned, inquest told

Midwife Ann Maria Burke is one of two people who have been recalled as witnesses over discrepancies in their evidence

A blood test that would have spotted Savita Halappanavar's fatal sepsis infection was not processed the morning she miscarried, it has been confirmed.

The sample was sent to a laboratory to check lactate levels at around 7am on Wednesday, October 24, but returned as the test should have been carried out at a point of care unit on the ward, a barrister for Galway University Hospital told the inquest into her death.

Savita's lactate level was 8.8 - the key indicator of severe sepsis - when finally checked again that afternoon shortly before she delivered a dead foetus.

The senior house officer who took the first sample, Dr Ikechukwu Uzochkwu, and midwife Ann Maria Burke have been recalled as witnesses over discrepancies in their evidence.

Dr Ciaran MacLoughlin ordered both to return when the inquiry resumes on Wednesday to be questioned about the content of a phone call as Savita's health deteriorated on the Tuesday night.

Ms Burke previously admitted she told Savita she could not have a termination in Ireland because "it is a Catholic country", but insisted it was said in kindness to explain the difference between the cultures.

Others witnesses to be called next Wednesday include former master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr Peter Boylan, and three pathologists.

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