Savita’s husband to get HSE report within week

Praveen Halappanavar will receive long-awaited report on wife’s death, says solicitor

Praveen Halappanavar last November in Galway, in front of  a photograph  of his wife, Savita, who died  from septicaemia at Galway University Hospital on October 28th. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Praveen Halappanavar last November in Galway, in front of a photograph of his wife, Savita, who died from septicaemia at Galway University Hospital on October 28th. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Sat, Mar 23, 2013, 06:11

The husband of the late Savita Halappanavar will receive the Health Service Executive ’s clinical review into her death “within seven days”, his solicitor, Gerard O’Donnell, has been told.

Praveen Halappanavar would receive a copy of the long-awaited report “by Good Friday”, he said.

“I have just had a call from Tony Canavan [chief operating officer of the Galway, Roscommon Hospital Group] who said he would like to meet my client and hand the report to him personally. He asked me to warn my client it would make for upsetting reading,” said Mr O’Donnell.

Mr Halappanavar had been promised a copy of the report before the end of February and was highly distressed at the leaking of a draft copy earlier that month. The draft, as reported, appeared to vindicate his account of Savita’s death at Galway University Hospital on October 28th last.

Ms Halappanavar presented at the hospital on October 21st complaining of severe back pain. She was 17 weeks pregnant and was found to be miscarrying. Mr Halappanavar has consistently maintained since he first recounted her death to The Irish Times in November that she had repeatedly requested a medical termination over a three-day period. He said this was refused because the foetal heartbeat was still present and she was told “this is a Catholic country”. She died of septicaemia and E.coli, documented before death, a week after she was admitted.

A seven-member investigating team was announced by the HSE on November 18th, four days after her death was first publicised. Following objections by Mr Halappanavar to the inclusion on the inquiry team of members of staff from the Galway hospital, they were replaced.

It has been chaired by Prof Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George’s Hospital, University of London. It was tasked with looking into any shortcomings in Ms Halappanvar’s care.

The report deals with issues relating to her death, including whether her request for a termination should have been considered and whether guidelines on terminations in general are adequate.