Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Halappanavar report to be published

Praveen Halappanavar has refused to co-operate directly with the HSE probe

The long-awaited report into the death of an Indian dentist after she suffered a miscarriage in an Irish hospital is to be published.

Savita Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when admitted to University Hospital Galway on October 21 with an inevitable miscarriage.

She died from multiple organ failure from septic shock and E.coli a week later, four days after she delivered a stillborn baby.

Two months after an inquest jury ruled unanimously that Mrs Halappanavar's death was by medical misadventure, the Health Service Executive (HSE) will outline the results of its clinical review.

The misadventure verdict found there were systemic failures or deficiencies in Mrs Halappanavar's care before she died, but coroner Ciaran MacLoughlin said they did not contribute to her death.

The 31-year-old's widower Praveen has said his wife's treatment was "horrendous, barbaric and inhuman" and that she was left to die.

The engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway has refused to co-operate directly with the HSE probe, but the review was updated by inquiry chairman Professor Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran - head of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George's Hospital, University of London - to include Mr Halappanavar's concerns relayed through his legal team.

The death of Mrs Halappanavar thrust the controversial issue of abortion in Ireland into the spotlight.

The Government committed itself to legislate and has published a proposed law to allow abortion if there is a real and substantial risk to a woman's life, including the threat of suicide, by July.

Elsewhere, an investigation by the health watchdog, Hiqa, is examining the safety, quality and standards of services provided by the HSE to patients, including pregnant women, at risk of clinical deterioration and as reflected in the care and treatment provided to Mrs Halappanavar.

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