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Grieving dads tell Varadkar lessons must be learned

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A file pic of Sean Rowlette and his wife 36 year old Sally Rowlette from Dromore West, Co. Sligo, who died in child birth at Sligo Regional Hospital.

A file pic of Sean Rowlette and his wife 36 year old Sally Rowlette from Dromore West, Co. Sligo, who died in child birth at Sligo Regional Hospital.

Michael Kivlehan with his late wife Dhara Kivlehan, who died days after giving birth

Michael Kivlehan with his late wife Dhara Kivlehan, who died days after giving birth

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A file pic of Sean Rowlette and his wife 36 year old Sally Rowlette from Dromore West, Co. Sligo, who died in child birth at Sligo Regional Hospital.

THE husbands of two women who died after giving birth have called for more accountability from maternity staff at a meeting with Health Minister Leo Varadkar.

Michael Kivlehan, who lost his wife Dhara to HELLP syndrome, and Sean Rowlette, whose wife Sally died of the same condition in Sligo General, described the two-hour meeting as "positive".

Speaking afterwards, Mr Kivlehan, whose son Dior was born eight days before his wife died, said they had highlighted issues raised by the jury at the inquest into Dhara's death, including more accountability by health staff, the importance of urgent blood test results and more information on the availability of intensive care unit beds across the country.

Dhara Kivlehan was 28 when she died, and Sally Rowlette, a mum of four, was 36.

HELLP syndrome is a condition associated with pre-eclampsia.

misadventure

"There have been a number of serious cases of medical misadventure in recent years that resulted in maternal and neo-natal deaths that might have been avoided, including these two cases," Mr Varadkar said.

"This gives me cause for concern as Minister for Health. This year we are developing a new maternity strategy which will map maternity services for the next few decades. It was very useful for me to meet Mr Kivlehan and Mr Rowlette and hear their personal perspectives on this area."

Mr Varadkar insisted, however, that "based on current statistics, maternity services in Ireland are on a par with the rest of the western world".

"Every year we have more consultants and midwives at a time when birth rates are falling," he said.

It emerged yesterday, however, that there is still no national guideline for maternity staff on the use of the drug syntocinon which speeds up labour.

fdillon@herald.ie


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