Sunday, October 21st, 2012Early on Sunday morning Savita Halappanavar, who is 17 weeks pregnant, develops severe back pain. Her husband Praveen brings her to Galway University Hospital.
She is examined and told there is nothing to worry about, that the baby is fine and she should go home and rest.
Continuing to feel unwell, she returns to the hospital in the afternoon. After examination, she is told she will lose the baby.
Savita is taken for a scan and the foetal heartbeat is present. She is admitted to St Monica’s maternity ward that evening.
On Monday morning the consultant gynaecologist, who has taken charge of Savita’s care, comes to see the couple. The consultant tells them as the foetal heartbeat remains present no intervention is possible, says Praveen. At this point Savita makes her first request for a termination, he says.
Praveen says the consultant tells the couple that termination cannot be carried out as the foetus is still alive. Savita begins to shiver, shake and vomit in the evening, he says. When her husband calls a nurse she brings an extra blanket. Savita goes to use the bathroom but collapses.
Wednesday morning and Savita is feeling worse. Praveen says he again asks for a termination of the pregnancy.
That afternoon the foetal heartbeat stops. Savita is taken to theatre for an evacuation of her womb, which takes about 20 minutes, he says. The consultant returns and tells him all the contents have been removed.
A team from the high-dependency unit is on standby and Savita is taken straight there.
As her condition deteriorates, Savita is moved to the intensive care unit. Praveen is asked if she had travelled recently or been in contact with farm animals, as the bloods indicated she had contracted E.coli ESBL, a particularly virulent strain of the bacteria almost wholly resistant to antibiotics, and septicaemia.
On Friday she deteriorates further. Praveen is told she is critically ill.
Savita’s heart, liver and kidney start to fail.
At 1.09am, Savita suffers a cardiac arrest and dies.
An autopsy carried out by Dr Grace Callagy two days after Savita died found she died of septicaemia “documented ante-mortem” and E.coli ESBL.