Kivlehan says HSE must learn from mistakes

Michael Kivlehan, the husband of Dhara Kivlehan who died at Sligo General Hospital in September 2010 due to maternity service mistakes, has urged the HSE to “learn the lessons” of their mistakes.

Michael Kivlehan, the husband of Dhara Kivlehan who died at Sligo General Hospital in September 2010 due to maternity service mistakes, has urged the HSE to “learn the lessons” of their mistakes.

Mr Kivlehan, from Dromahair, spoke following a two hour meeting with Health Minister Leo Varadkar in which Sean Rowlette, the husband of the late Sally Rowlette who also died in similar circumstances also attended.

The pair also told Mr Varadkar that they both continued to have “worries and concerns” over care standards at the meeting which took place at Dr Steevens’ Hospital on Monday at the request of both the men.

Post-mortems discovered that Ms Kivlehan died from a syndrome linked to ten percent of pre-eclampsia cases, a condition which usually has a one percent fatality rate if the correct medical intervention takes place. Ms Rowlette died in similar circumstances in February 2013.

Both men insisted during the meeting that had the mistakes which took place leading up to Ms Kivlehan’s death been amended, Ms Rowlette would have not have suffered a similar fate. They also said that the meeting had been “productive” and welcomed the news that an extra Consultant Obstetrician is due to be appointed at Sligo Regional.

Mr Varadkar stated that the deaths are a “cause for concern”, but insisted that Ireland is a safe place for expectant mothers. He said that current statistics suggest that maternity services are on par with the rest of the western world.

He said: “Every year, we have more consultants and midwives at a time when birth rates are falling.” However, he did admit that a number of cases of medical misadventure which resulted in maternal and neonatal deaths should have been avoided.

Meanwhile, both Mr Kivlehan and Mr Rowlette are to set up a support service in conjunction with the HSE. The service will assist young fathers whose partners have died while in the hands of the maternity services. It is understood that the service will be available as a smart phone application.

Speaking on Monday, Mr Kivlehan said that there is a need for a service which explains to young fathers “what to expect in the aftermath of a tragedy occurring, including how to access counselling and other support services.”