Dentist’s death was a medical misadventure

The verdict after an inquest into Savita Halappanvar’s death due to complications after she had a miscarriage

The inquest into the death of dentist Savita Halappanavar returned a verdict of medical misadventure, with the HSE refusing to confirm whether any staff will be disciplined in light of the tragic events.

Dr Ciaran MacLoughlin, the coroner in charge of the inquest, was told of a variety of system failures at University College Hospital Galway, including failure to follow up on tests, poor communication and failure to properly monitor the patient’s vital signs.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, a spokeswoman for the HSE acknowledged there were lapses in the standard of care given to Ms Halappanavar, who died after suffering a miscarriage, adding that there would be no further comment as two other reviews are currently ongoing.

The HSE has commissioned a clinical review into the incident and the Health Information and Quality Authority has also launched its own investigation.

Gerard O’Donnell, legal counsel for Praveen Halappannavar, Savita’s widower, met with the chairman of the HSE clinical review team recently to ask that several amendments be made to the HSE report into her death. Following the meeting, he said: “We were happy with the meeting. They told us they would incorporate the changes.” Mr O’Donnell added that the family will be meeting legal representatives to decide whether to pursue a case in the European courts.