Wednesday 13 December 2017

'If they acted on Tania's death, Savita might be alive'

Fiona Ellis

THE father-in-law of Tania McCabe, the garda sergeant who tragically died in childbirth, is "disappointed and surprised" by the ongoing controversy over safety standards in maternity hospitals.

He said the findings of an investigation into the care received by Savita Halappanavar are essentially a "carbon copy" of the ones in a report into his daughter-in-law's death almost seven years ago.

Patrick McCabe told the Irish Independent he is disappointed that the recommendations that came out of an inquiry into Tania's death were not acted on by many hospitals.

He also said he wants hospitals to make sepsis tests routine.

Garda Tania McCabe (34) and one of her twin sons died shortly after his birth at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Co Louth, in March 2007.

She had been admitted to hospital three days earlier, believing her waters had broken. It was not diagnosed that her membranes had ruptured, and she was sent home.


She was rushed back within 24 hours suffering from sepsis and an emergency caesarean section was performed. One of her twin premature boys, Zach, died in her arms and she died hours later.

Her surviving twin son, Adam, is now seven.

The similarities between the case of Savita and Tania were "probably one of the most disturbing findings", HIQA said in its report released on Wednesday.

Reacting to the findings, Mr McCabe said: "We were surprised so few of the recommendations highlighted in the first report were acted on.

"A good report had been done, and while it had been acted upon locally in Drogheda and in the east part in the country, it doesn't appear to have been acted on in other hospitals around the country.

"It's disappointing. We don't feel angry at all, because anger is of no use to anybody."

He said had the recommendations been implemented, the outcome for Savita might have been drastically different.

"She may or, indeed, may have not survived. We'll never know this, but I would say her chances of survival would have been considerably greater."

The report has brought up the pain of Tania's passing all over again, he said.

"It's an ever-burning ember, the inquest and this report now has rekindled and relit the fire and it burns all over again."

But he added the family deal with it "as best they can" and that Tania's surviving twin son Adam is "perfect".

"He's a top man. He is seven years of age so we don't expect him to understand, he just knows she's not there."

Last Christmas the Tania McCabe Foundation donated two state-of-the-art incubators to the hospitals who cared for Adam.

Irish Independent

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