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Irish health watchdog launches inquiry into Savita death

THE Irish Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is to investigate the death of Savita Halappanavar, it was announced today.


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In a statement released this afternoon (November 23) the independent Irish health watchdog says that it will assess the “safety, quality and standards of services” provided by the HSE at University Hospital Galway in the care of Savita.

Mrs Halappanavar died on October 28 in the Galway hospital as a result of blood poisoning contracted in the days after she miscarried.

The family of the 31-year-old dentist claim that she was denied an abortion despite repeated requests to doctors at the hospital
from both her and her husband.

The death has drawn worldwide attention and sparked protests internationally, including two demonstrations in Britain last week.

Savita’s husband Praveen Halappanavar has refused to cooperate in an on-going HSE inquiry and
instead called for a public inquiry into her death.

It is not yet clear whether he will cooperate with the HIQA inquiry.

The full HIQA released read:

“The Board of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), following a request from the
Health Service Executive (HSE) and in accordance with Section 9(1) of the Health Act 2007, will investigate
the safety, quality and standards of services provided by the HSE at University Hospital Galway (UHG)
to critically ill patients, including critically ill pregnant women as reflected in the care and treatment provided to Savita Halappanavar.

“The investigation will assess whether the services provided complied with the National Standards for
Safer Better Healthcare and national and international evidence of what is known to achieve best outcomes.

“The Authority requested, and received, information from University Hospital Galway and the HSE to
ascertain the facts about the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar.

“Following consideration of this information, the Board of the Authority has made the decision to instigate this investigation.

“The terms of reference and membership of the investigation team will be published when finalised.

“As with any investigation undertaken by the Authority, and in the interest of a fair and thorough investigation,
the Authority does not envisage making any further public comment until the investigation has concluded.
The investigation report, and its recommendations, will be published following the completion of the investigation.”



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