Halappanavar hospital admits lapses
Published 19/04/2013 | 19:21
The hospital where Savita Halappanavar died has admitted there were lapses in its standards of care.
Chief operating officer for University Hospital Galway, Tony Canavan, insisted all recommendations made by the coroner would be taken on board to rectify the deficiencies.
"While it has been difficult to have our practices and services in the spotlight, we know that this type of public accountability and scrutiny ultimately helps to improve the way care is delivered," Mr Canavan said.
"Sadly, there were lapses in our standards of care but I am sure people appreciate that we always try to do the best for our patients. As the inquest has starkly demonstrated, complex medical situations unfold, often very quickly, in real time."
Mr Canavan also pointed out that Mrs Halappanavar's death was the first direct maternal death at the hospital in 17 years.
He said the hospital had always followed all of the necessary legal and medical requirements. The hospital chief added that a range of improvements to standards have already been introduced in Galway.
These include new early warning scoring systems, the education of staff in recognising, monitoring and managing sepsis and septic shock, and the introduction of a new multi-disciplinary team-based training programme in the management of obstetric emergencies.
Communication processes have also been improved and plans are in place for new procedures for doctors' handovers, he said.
Mr Canavan added that further recommendations arising from the Health Service Executive-appointed investigation team and the Health Information and Quality Authority report would be promptly acted upon.
"I think anyone following the inquest proceedings will have appreciated that the untimely death of Mrs Halappanavar caused deep upset among hospital staff, particularly those who were directly involved in her care and who came to give evidence to the coroner," he said. Mr Canavan also extended the hospital's "sincere sympathy" to Mrs Halappanavar's widower Praveen, to his family and his wife's family both in Ireland and India.