Courts

Thursday 24 July 2014

Husband of woman who died after giving birth sues HSE

Greg Harkin

Published 30/01/2013|05:00

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A GRIEVING husband is suing the Health Service Executive (HSE) over the "dreadful loss" of his wife who died a few days after giving birth to their son.

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Kevin Kivlehan is seeking answers as to why his wife, Dhara Kivlehan (29), died in hospital days after undergoing a caesarean section.

The couple's son, Dior, was born on September 21, 2010, at Sligo General Hospital but Ms Kivlehan suffered complications.

The Indian-born Irish citizen was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast four days later, where she died on September 29.

The Next sales director's death has left her 33-year-old husband and their families "devastated" said family solicitor Roger Murray.

Mr Kivlehan's request for an inquest in the North has been refused by Belfast Coroner John Leckey, and the family is now seeking an inquest in Sligo.

The case against the HSE is understood to centre around when medical treatment was administered.

"The family are unable to comment on the legal proceedings, as they are before the court," said Mr Murray.

"They hope, however, to obtain answers to the serious questions they have about how Dhara's death occurred.

"In this regard, they are very concerned that an inquest be convened to inquire into the circumstances of her death. No inquest was held in Northern Ireland, where she died.

Inquest

"Consequently, the family has corresponded with the Sligo Coroner, urging him to hold an inquest, and an outcome on their request is expected shortly."

Ms Kivlehan died from multiple organ failure secondary to HELLP syndrome. This is a group of symptoms that occur in pregnant women who have hemolysis (the breakdown of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes and a low platelet count. This is a life-threatening complication usually considered to be a variant of pre-eclampsia.

The HSE is expected to lodge a defence to the claim for alleged negligence and alleged breach of duty in the High Court in Dublin next Monday.

Friends said the Kivlehan and Sandhu families will travel to the capital for the hearing.

"Dior is a beautiful boy and is the light of all their lives," said one friend. "He was just eight days old when his mother died and the family want to be able to tell him in the future how she passed away."

The couple met in London where Dhara was a fashion student. They moved to Dromahair, Co Sligo, in 2005 when she landed her job with Next.

A HSE spokeswoman said: "We would not be in a position to comment on any case that is before the courts."

Irish Independent

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