TIMELINE: This is the story of one woman’s death in an Irish hospital, based on the account given by her husband and friends
Savita Halappanavar was admitted to Galway University Hospital with back pain. She was 17 weeks pregnant. Seven days later she was dead. The hospital has said it cannot comment on individual cases and in relation to Ms Halappanavar, it must await the outcome of official investigations.
It’s a Saturday night, and Savita Halappanavar (31) and her husband Praveen (34) are holding a small get-together at their home in the Roscam area of Galway. It’s both a farewell dinner for her parents who are returning to India soon and an opportunity to announce to friends they are expecting a baby. Savita is 17 weeks pregnant. “Savita was very excited, very happy,” recalls Praveen. “All our close friends came to congratulate us.”
A SERIES of events has plunged the HSE probe into the death of Savita Halappanavar further into shambles.
THE MINISTER FOR Health James Reilly has recognised the need for a transparent, independent inquiry into the death of Savita Halappanavar at Galway University Hospital – but added that the process needed to be expedited in order to ensure no further risk is posed to women being treated at the facility.
Group to be made up of 'entirely independent' representatives
SAVITA Halappanavar's husband Praveen will try to block a HSE inquiry into her death by refusing to release her medical records.
The Health Service Executive has appointed Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran as chairman of the investigative team that will review the death of Savita Halappanavar.
Medics involved in the care of a pregnant Indian woman who died after suffering a miscarriage will be interviewed over the next three days, health chiefs have revealed.
A seven-strong team, headed by professor of obstetrics and gynaecology Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, will examine case notes and medical guidelines to establish whether she received the best possible care.
Savita Halappanavar, 31, died on October 28 after contracting septicaemia. Her husband has claimed she was denied an abortion as she miscarried 17 weeks into her pregnancy.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) said no overall timeframe has been set for the completion of a report, which will be sent to HSE national director of quality and patient safety Philip Crowley.
"We will obviously interview all the members of the local team who were involved in the care and clearly analyse every step of Mrs Halappanavar's care to ensure that we uncover the root causes of her untimely death," Dr Crowley said.
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THREE doctors from University Hospital Galway are part of the investigation team assembled to inquire into the death.
The chairman of the inquiry has defended their positions, saying they needed to inform the team about their standards of practice in treating patients at the hospital.
Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, an eminent obstetrician of 40 years experience who practises at St George's hospital, University of London, was unveiled as chairman. [...]
Mr Arulkumaran said the main reason to have three Galway hospital doctors involved is not for them to give specific directions, but to inform the team about their standards of practice in treating patients.
He said this would include whether "they have standard guidelines in the hospital, and if they have deviations why do they do so".
For example the type of antibiotics given to patients can vary from hospital to hospital.
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