HSE to pay €790k after death of mum

The HSE has agreed to pay €790,000 and “unreservedly” apologised to the family of a 29-year-old Indian woman who became seriously ill in Sligo Regional Hospital at the time of the birth of her first child, but died eight days later.

HSE to pay €790k after death of mum

Dhara Kivlehan, who had a healthy baby boy, was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on her fourth day in the Sligo hospital, but the High Court heard that by that time, her condition was “inevitably doomed”.

A separate action by her husband Michael Kivlehan, Dromhair, Co Leitrim, for nervous shock as a result of the death of Dhara, from Ahmedabad, India, on Sept 28, 2010, was previously settled for a “substantial sum”.

In its apology to the Kivlehans and the Sandhus, Dhara’s family in India, the HSE said it unreservedly apologises “for the shortcomings in relation to the management and care of Dhara Kivlehan at Sligo Regional Hospital”.

Offering sincere condolences, it added: “The HSE confirms that lessons have been learned from the tragic outcome in Dhara Kivlehan’s case.”

The HSE admitted liability in the case last week.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine said this was the third case before her within the last two weeks where a defendant had “held out almost to the bitter end” before admitting liability. This was “very regrettable” and caused enormous distress to a family, she said.

She expressed sympathy to Mr Kivlehan and his parents Michael and Susan Kivlehan, who are helping him rear the couple’s child, Dior. The judge said it was a tragic and upsetting case.

Senior counsel Des O’Neill said Michael and Dhara met in London, where the Indian woman had come to in 2002 to study fashion design and textiles. They married in 2005 and moved to Ireland.

Mrs Kivlehan was admitted to Sligo General Hospital on Sept 20, 2010, two weeks overdue

In their claim, the family alleged the delivery of Mrs Kivlehan’s child was negligently delayed and inadequate urgency and speciality was applied to her case.

The Kivlehans accepted everything possible was done for Dhara in the Belfast hospital but alleged her treatment at Sligo General Hospital was “in marked contrast”.

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