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New advice on Savita illness

ALL hospitals have been issued with new guidelines aimed at saving the lives of patients suffering the same kind of illness which led to the death of Savita Halappanavar two years ago.

The new advice covers sepsis, a form of blood poisoning triggered by infection, which, if untreated, can eventually lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar issued the guidelines on foot of a recommendation by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), which investigated the death of Ms Halappanavar in Galway University Hospital in late 2012.

Two other sets of guidelines were also issued for maternity hospitals, one of which covers an early warning system to alert staff if a patient is deteriorating.

The other involves the kind of information about patients which teams of doctors need to exchange when they are taking over from each other.

He said poor communication was a contributing factor in adverse incidents where patient care was put at risk.

Last year, the HIQA found there was no national definition of maternal sepsis.

Irish Independent