Dhara Kivlehan: Inquest told of deficiencies in hospital care
An expert witness has told an inquest into the death of a woman who became seriously ill after giving birth that there were deficiencies in her care.
Dr Peter Boylan, a former master of the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin, was appearing at the inquest into the death of Dhara Kivlehan in 2012.
Ms Kivlehan died in Belfast as a result of multi-organ failure after giving birth at Sligo General Hospital.
Dr Boylan told the inquest that Ms Kivlehan had developed partial HELLP Syndrome, a severe strain of pre-eclampsia.
He said she remained seriously ill following the delivery of her baby by emergency Caesarean section.
He added that Ms Kivlehan presented a very difficult management problem, but he said her distended stomach was misinterpreted as fluid build-up linked to liver failure.
He said it appeared that nobody considered the likelihood of what he called intra-abdominal bleeding, particularly following her surgery.
Dr Boylan said had this problem been recognised and dealt with, and an earlier transfer organised to a specialist centre, then it is possible the outcome would have been different.
However, he added that it was debatable as to whether early intervention would have made a difference due to the complicated nature of Ms Kivlehan's condition.
He also said that he was not blaming doctors at Sligo General Hospital. Dr Boylan told the inquest that a woman in Ms Kivelan's condition should have been treated by a senior obstetrics consultant, but that few exist in Ireland.