Post mortem results detailed in inquest into death of Savita Halappanavar

Friday 19 April 2013 07.47
Jury retires in inquest into death of Savita Halappanavar (Pic: Irish Times)
Jury retires in inquest into death of Savita Halappanavar (Pic: Irish Times)

The inquest into the death of Savita Halappanavar has heard that the cause of her death was septic shock, E coli in her bloodstream and a miscarriage at 17 weeks.

Pathologist Professor Grace Callagy said there were no underlying conditions that contributed to her death.

She said she could not identify an exact time when Mrs Halappanavar contracted sepsis and when her condition deteriorated to severe sepsis and then to septic shock.

Prof Callagy said Mrs Halappanavar had been a strong and healthy woman.

Retired paediatric pathologist Dr Peter Kelehan said he had seen less than five cases of septic abortion in 40 years and none of the patients had died.

Dr Kelehan said that of the 700 to 800 miscarriages he would see each year, it was exceedingly rare to come across the level of infection that he saw in the case of Mrs Halappanavar.

All witnesses have now given evidence at the inquest.

Coroner Dr Ciaran MacLoughlin told the jury he will write a summary of the evidence they have heard over seven days and present it to them tomorrow.

He will then charge the jury in relation to the verdicts they may return and inform them about recommendations they can append to the final verdict.

It is not anticipated that legal representatives for Mr Halappanavar, Galway University Hospital or consultant obstetrician Dr Katherine Astbury will make any legal submissions before the jury retires.

Mr Halappanavar was not at the inquest today.

His solicitor Gerard O'Donnell said the proceedings were taking their toll on him.