herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

'No mother should die giving birth in this country' - dad

a heartbroken husband, whose wife died 10 days after being admitted to hospital, pregnant with their child, urged men to speak out if they feel there is something wrong with their partner's maternity hospital care.

Dhara Kivlehan (28) died as a result of medical misadventure, an inquest jury at Carrick-on-Shannon has found.

Dhara gave birth to their son Dior on September 21 in Sligo, but her condition deteriorated over the following few days.

She died at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital on September 28, 2010, after being transferred there in a critical condition.

Relief

Her husband Michael Kivlehan spoke last night of his relief that his four-year fight for justice is over.

The jury found that Dhara had died as a result of multiple organ failure and from HELLP syndrome, a severe form of pre-eclampsia.

They found after 58 minutes of deliberations that Dhara, a retail manager with the fashion retailer Next, had died as a result of medical misadventure.

Mr Kivlehan had originally had a request for an inquest refused because his wife had died in the North, a decision reversed earlier this year.

"I'm relieved it's over," said Mr Kivlehan afterwards.

"It has taken four years to get to this stage. It was my boy's birthday last week and my wife's anniversary on Sunday.

"I carry pictures of Dhara with me everywhere, pictures of her as a child in India, pictures from our wedding day and one picture of her holding Dior after he was born."

Dhara, originally from Ahmedabad in India, met Leitrim native Michael in London.

He says he speaks to her mother, father, brother and sister via Skype each day.

"They are very private people but understand what went on and are amazed that Dhara died," Mr Kivlehan said.

"They cannot understand why she died. I want lessons to be learned from this.

"No mother should die giving birth in this country.

"The case is over now but the message should go out to fathers out there not to assume everything is going to be all right," he added.

"You must speak out and you must take care and make sure that if your wife is pregnant they are getting the best care in our hospitals."

Sligo/Leitrim coroner Dr Eamon McGowan gave the jury the options of two possible verdicts, one of 'medical misadventure' and a narrative verdict with the circumstances of Dhara's death.

Tests

The jury added recommendations that information on the availability of tertiary beds be made available on a national basis to all hospitals and an onus on doctors to follow up on all blood tests.

They also urged that all medics in an operating theatre should be included on a register and recommended that staffing levels in hospitals should be monitored.

hnews@herald.ie

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