Thursday 23 May 2019

'Dramatic change' in Savita health

Galway Coroner's Court where the inquest into the death of Savita Halappanavar is taking place
Galway Coroner's Court where the inquest into the death of Savita Halappanavar is taking place

A doctor suspected Savita Halappanavar had a sepsis infection more than 10 hours before she was taken to theatre to deliver her dead baby, her inquest heard.

Dr Ikechukwu Uzockwu said he got an emergency call to attend the patient before 7am one morning, 54 hours after her waters had broken, and found her heart rate was almost double from when she was admitted three days earlier.

Her temperature had soared to 39.6C and she was producing a discharge from her vagina, and he thought she was suffering from sepsis due to chorioamnionitis, an infection of the foetal membrane, he said.

The medic, known as Dr Ike, said he called a more senior colleague but he believed she never reviewed the patient.

It was after 3pm that afternoon, Wednesday September 24, when Mrs Halappanavar was taken to theatre where she delivered her dead daughter.

Eugene Gleeson, a barrister for Mrs Halappanavar's widower Praveen, alleged there was a breakdown in communication the previous evening between the midwife and medial teams over "vitals signs between life and death".

Notes by midwife Ann Maria Burke, who will give evidence, claimed the senior house officer was told on Tuesday evening that Mrs Halappanavar was weak and had a high heart beat of 114 beats per minute.

"I was told vital signs were stable," Dr Uzockwu replied. "I wasn't told of an elevated pulse."

He said he went to check on Mrs Halappanavar at 1am but she was sleeping. He got the emergency call at 6.30am.

Mr Halappanavar sat with his arms folded and looked ahead as midwife Miriam Dunleavy told the inquest that in her seven years at the hospital she had never seen any woman miscarrying get so sick as quickly as Mrs Halappanavar.

Press Association

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