Tuesday 21 November 2017

Savita unit 'strived for excellence' in year that she died

Savita Halappanavar.
Savita Halappanavar.
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

THE maternity unit where Savita Halappanavar died "continued to strive for excellence in delivery of our service", according to its annual report for 2012.

The midwifery report on the maternity unit in University Hospital Galway said that "quality is our goal on a daily basis".

The confident assessment came despite criticism of poor practice at the unit in a number of independent investigations into the care of Ms Halappanavar who was told she would miscarry.

She died a week later from septicaemia, in October 2012.

The clinical report from the women and children's director of University Hospital Galway and Portiuncula Hospital said staff were "positive and fearless for our mothers and babies in our maternity unit and the parents and children in our paediatric unit".

Savita's death is noted in the main body of the report, although she is not named. It said she developed signs of severe sepsis and septic shock four days after admission.

"She miscarried and was transferred to the intensive care unit. Thereafter, she developed serious multi-organ failure and died on the eighth day after admission to hospital."

Writing in the foreword to the report, Dr Geraldine Gaffney, clinical director at the Women's and Children's Directorate in October, described the death as a "devastating event".


It was "the first of its kind to have happened here for 17 years, (it) shocked both staff and the public alike.

"We extend our sympathy to the husband and family of Savita Halappanavar. I am mindful of the tremendous effect that this tragic event had upon members of staff and the public that use our service. I am grateful to those who sent us expressions of support during this difficult time."

The report noted that the unit treated another woman who had sepsis last year. Another patient had suspected meningitis or drug toxicity after delivering a baby and she went on to make a good recovery.

The report said the unit had 19 cases of serious illness among mothers during the year.

Irish Independent

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