MATERNITY hospitals see few cases of sepsis, the life-threatening illness suffered by Savita Halappanavar.
Prof Michael Turner, clinical lead in obstetrics in the HSE, said sepsis – the body's response to bacterial infection – is uncommon in maternity hospitals but "serious".
The Coombe Hospital obstetrician was speaking generally and would not comment on the case of Savita (pictured), who died in Galway University Hospital last October after the sepsis progressed to septic shock leading to cardiac arrest.
A draft report of the expert review group examining her case said staff underestimated the seriousness of her condition for too long.
Prof Turner said that maternity hospitals would be issued with an early warning score system in the first quarter of this year which would help alert them to signs that a pregnant woman, or a woman who has delivered, is deteriorating.