Galway hospital staff put Savita’s shivering down to broken radiator

Praveen Halappanavar pictured with his wife Savita at their home in Galway

Staff at the Galway hospital where tragic mum-to-be Savita Halappanavar died put her shivering and teeth chattering down to the cold rather than a life threatening infection according to the official HSE report into her death.

The draft review
has been seen by the Sunday Independent newspaper which claims staff attributed her symptoms to the cold because the radiator in her room wasn’t working.

The paper quotes from the report and notes that it says: “At one stage the radiator in the bedroom was not working.”

The report notes that a nurse went to fetch a blanket for Savita but her shivering turned out to be symptoms of a serious infection taking hold in her system, which ultimately led to her death.

The failure to recognise Savita’s symptoms is among a catalogue of concerns identified by her husband Praveen.

He is to meet the chairman of the review committee to discuss the care given to Savita at University College Hospital Galway. The quality of care will also be among the issues examined at the inquest into Savita’s death which opens in Galway on Monday.

Up to 16 hospital staff including consultants, doctors and nurses are expected to testify at what will be the first public examination of her death.

The Sunday Independent reports that more may be called as the inquest unfolds while expert witnesses will also be asked to testify.

Savita’s husband Praveen has always maintained that his wife died after repeated requests for an abortion were refused and they were told Ireland is a Catholic country.

Sources close to the hospital have told the Sunday Independent that the use of the phrase will be ‘clarified’ if it is raised at the inquest, in terms of who said it and the context in which it was uttered.

The paper reports that the draft report says that a termination should have been considered, to remove the source of infection and reduce the risk to Savita’s life.

It says: “Different management options needed to be considered, including termination of pregnancy, as the removal of the source of infection reduces the potential risk of sepsis, thereby potentially avoiding rapid deterioration in the patient’s clinical condition.”

It noted there was inadequate assessment and monitoring of her condition, and concluded that too much emphasis was placed on the foetus rather than the mother.

The HSE has already apologised to Savita’s family for the events while in hospital care that contributed to her death.