HSE clinical review team meet with Halappanavar representatives

The chairman of the HSE’s clinical review team, set up to examine the death of Savita Halappanavar, was to hold a meeting with her husband’s representatives yesterday afternoon, the first such meeting since the conclusion of an eight-day coronor’s inquest.

It is understood Praveen Halappanavar was not expected to attend yesterday’s meeting which was scheduled to take place at around 4pm at Merlin Park Hospital, Galway, but that his legal team was to give its observations on the case, on the draft review report, and on the issues that were raised during the inquest which took place last month. They were to meet with chairman Professor Sabaratnam Arulkumaran and deputy chairperson, Cora McCaughan, co-chair of the HSE’s National Incident Management Team.

The jury in the inquest delivered a unanimous verdict of medical misadventure in relation to the death of Savita and Galway West Coronor Dr Ciarán MacLoughlin gave nine recommendations which included a call for the HSE to re-examine guidelines on the termination of pregnancies.

Indian dentist Savita, who had been 17 weeks pregnant, had been admitted to University Hospital Galway on Sunday, October 21, 2012, with an inevitable miscarriage. However, due to shortcomings in her treatment and Irish law prohibiting a termination while there is the presence of a foetal heartbeat and while there is no substantial risk the life of the mother, Savita suffered severe septicaemia leading quickly to septic shock and she passed away on October 28. The inquest heard that Savita and her husband had asked on at least three occasions for a medical termination but that these requests had been refused.

The seven member clinical review team was subsequently set up in November in order to identify any failings in the care of Savita. A final report is expected to be completed within a few weeks.

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