Care failure admitted after pregnant woman died

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The consultant at the centre of the treatment of an Indian dentist who died in an Irish hospital after a miscarriage has admitted there were failures in her care.

Savita Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to University Hospital Galway on 21 October and died a week later.

Consultant obstetrician Dr Katherine Astbury told an inquest she was unaware of blood test abnormalities as they had not been passed on to her team from the weekend staff on-call.

She also confirmed Mrs Halappanavar was not checked every four hours after her membranes ruptured in the early hours of Monday morning, which was a breach of hospital policy.

Mrs Halappanavar, 31, was rushed to intensive care within hours of the delivery, where she remained in a critical condition until her death from a heart attack caused by septicaemia due to E coli.

Dr Astbury has denied she refused Mrs Halappanavar’s pleas for a termination a day earlier because “Ireland is a Catholic country”.