HSE urged to probe death after childbirth

A husband has demanded an inquest into the death of his wife who lost her life after giving birth to their first child.

Dhara Kivlehan, an Indian who has family in Britain and India, died in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital eight days after she gave birth to Dior in Sligo General Hospital.

Her husband Kevin and her parents have initiated civil proceedings, claiming negligence against the HSE.

No inquest was held in the North. Her husband has instructed solicitors to write to Sligo Coroner Desmond Moran demanding an inquest.

Solicitors Callan Tansey said yesterday: “The family are unable to commenton the legal proceedings as they are before the court.

“They hope, however, to obtain answers to the serious questions they have about how Dhara’s death occurred.

“In this regard, they are very concerned that an inquest be convened to inquire into the circumstances of Dhara’s death.

“The family has corresponded with the Sligo coroner, urging him to hold an inquest, and an outcome on their request is expected shortly,” they said.

Dhara, who lived with Kevin in Dromahair, Co Leitrim, was 29 when she gave birth by caesarean section on Sept 21, 2010, at Sligo General, the day after she was admitted to the hospital.

She developed complications shortly after the birth and was transferred to the Royal Victoria on Sept 25.

She died there four days later of multi-organ failure secondary to HELLP syndrome, an obstetric complication which occurs in one or two of 1,000 pregnancies.

Medical documents say HELLP often develops before the 37th week of pregnancy, but sometimes it develops in the week after the baby is born.

The civil proceedings are due before the High Court on Monday, when the HSE will be asked to file its defence.

The proceedings claiming damages for alleged negligence and breach of duty were issued against the HSE in 2011.

Dhara studied fashion design in London, where she met Kevin. The couple moved to his native Ireland and were married in Oct 2005.

She was popular among Sligo people, who met her when she worked in the Next clothes outlet at the Quayside Shopping Centre.

Kevin, 33, said he is now “a stay-at-home dad”.

A spokesperson at HSE West said: “We would not be in a position to comment on any case that is before the courts.

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