Some staff still on sick leave in wake of Savita death

Some members of staff at the hospital where Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar tragically died in October, 2012 are still on sick leave.

Some staff still on sick leave in wake of Savita death

University College Hospital Galway has confirmed that a “small number of staff” involved in the care of Ms Halappanavar have yet to return to work.

The hospital has also revealed that it has lost a number of staff as a result of the fallout from the controversy surrounding the death of Ms Halappanavar.

Some of the 30 medical professionals who had a direct involvement with Ms Halappanavar have opted for a change of career. Others have gone either on sick or protective leave or taken a career break.

The details were revealed yesterday in an independent review of the HIQA recommendations in its report into the death of Ms Halappanavar.

Ms Halappanavar, 31, was 17 weeks pregnant when she miscarried and subsequently died from septic shock on October 28, 2012.

Her death, five days after she was refused a termination, sparked widespread public debate that eventually forced a controversial change in Ireland’s abortion legislation.

Last November, Saolta University Health Care Group ordered a review of the actions of all staff members who treated Ms Halappanavar at UHG.

It followed three separate investigations into her death.

Over a number of months, the involvement of 30 staff was reviewed.

Legal action by her husband Praveen against the HSE is believed to be ongoing.

Last October, HIQA published its report into issues relating to the death. It said there was a failure to recognise she was developing an infection and to act on her deteriorating condition.

It found that University Hospital Galway did not have effective arrangements to regularly record and monitor her condition, and that the management of the delivery of maternity services was not consistent with best practices.

HIQA made 34 recommendations on improving the care of clinically deteriorating pregnant women. Yesterday an independent review of those recommendations was outlined at a public board meeting of the Saolta Hospital Group in Galway

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