Fresh investigation into Savita death

Published Friday, 23 November 2012
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A second investigation has been launched into the standards of care at the Galway hospital where Savita Halappanavar died last month.

Fresh investigation into Savita death
Savita Halappanavar, who died after allegedly being refused an abortion. (© The Irish Times)

The 31-year-old was treated at Galway University Hospital in October after she suffered a miscarriage at 17 weeks pregnant.

Her husband claims his wife repeatedly asked doctors to carry out a medical termination, but they refused because there was still a heartbeat present.

She developed septicaemia and died on Sunday, 28 October, a week after being admitted to the hospital.

A Health and Safety Executive inquiry is already underway, and on Friday, the Board of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) announced it will investigate the safety, quality and standards of services provided to critically ill patients.

That includes the services given to pregnant women, "as reflected in the care and treatment provided to Savita Halappanavar".

The latest investigation was announced following concerns over the independences of the HSE inquiry.

"The Authority requested, and received, information from University Hospital Galway and the HSE to ascertain the facts about the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar," a spokesperson said.

"Following consideration of this information, the Board of the Authority has made the decision to instigate this investigation."

The watchdog will publish its findings in a report, and said in a statement that it will not make further comment until then.

Gardaí have also confirmed they are assisting the coroner's investigation into the death.

Praveen Halappanavar has called for the Irish Government to hold a public inquiry into his wife's death, and it is understood he is considering an application to the European Court of Human Rights to meet his demands for a wider investigation.

Protests and vigils were held across Ireland in the days following Mrs Halappanavar's death, which has prompted calls, north and south, for legal reform on the issue of abortion.

© UTV News
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