Praveen Halappanavar gets HSE draft report into wife Savita’s death

Family solicitor says his client will review 108-page document before commenting further


The final draft report of the HSE inquiry into the death of Savita Halappanavar has been handed to her husband's solicitor in Galway.

Tonay Canavan, Chief Operating Officer of the Galway Roscommon Hospital Group delivered the 108-page final draft to Gerard O'Donnell shortly before 11.30 this morning.

He said he hoped even at this stage that Praveen Halappanavar would have some input into the final report as it would mean it would be "stronger because of the participation of a family member".

Mr Halappanavar was not present for the handover of the report having declined an invitation from Mr Canavan to meet.

Mr O'Donnell said he and his client hoped the report would go some way to explaining why Ms Halappanavar died, as opposed to how she died.

"We will read it over the weekend and we will decide what approach we will have in terms of whether I will make any comments or whether my client will make any comments personally or whether he will meet with the chairman. We have been invited to meet with the chairman of the clinical review committee next week.

"So we need to consider the report and we hope it will go a long way towards letting Praveen Halappanavar know exactly what happened to his wife and indeed to his daughter, Prasa at University College Hospital in Galway."

Savita Halappanavar died at the Galway Hospital on October 28th, having presented a week earlier with severe back-pain. She was 17 weeks pregnant and was found to be miscarrying.

Mr Halappanavar has consistently said they asked repeatedly for a medical termination over a three-day period but that this was refused because the foetal heartbeat was still present and this "is a Catholic country".

She died in the hospital's intensive care unit of septicaemia and E.coli documented before she died.

The inquest into her death begins hearing evidence in Galway on April 8th.

A seven-member investigating team was announced by the HSE on November 19th, five days after Savita’s 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.

Mr Halappanavar was initially promised a copy of the report by Minister for Health James Reilly by the end of last month. He has expressed his disappointment at ongoing delays in relation to his receipt of the report. He and Ms Halappanavar’s family in southern India were extremely distressed at the leaking of a draft copy of the report in mid-February.

Speaking in Dublin yesterday, Dr Reilly said Mr Halappanavar and his advisers would be given time to examine the report. “There will be an invitation extended to him to meet with the chairman and then to make any observations that he might wish to make which therefore could be incorporated into the report,” he said.