Belfast Telegraph

Pregnancy death probe 'must not be dry run for civil case'

By David Young

An inquest into how an Indian woman died from pregnancy complications must not be treated as a dry run for her family's High Court negligence action against health authorities, a coroner has said.

Dhara Kivlehan (28) died in September 2010 in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital a week after giving birth to her first child in Sligo General Hospital.

Her widower Michael Kivlehan, from Dromohair, Co Leitrim, is taking legal action against the Republic's Health Service Executive (HSE) over a series of alleged failings in her treatment in Sligo – claims the HSE is set to contest when the case is heard at Dublin's High Court in December.

Mrs Kivlehan, who was originally from Gujarat in north-west India, was airlifted to Belfast after developing a severe form of pre-eclampsia in Sligo General – a condition her family allege was not diagnosed early enough despite warning signs.

While the family's legal team has praised the care given to Mrs Kivlehan in Belfast, an inquest is required in the jurisdiction where death occurred.

Northern Ireland's senior coroner John Leckey yesterday said at a preliminary hearing at Belfast Coroner's Court that he would hold the probe next month in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.

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