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Doctor describes 'error' as hospital failed to look at Dhara Kivlehan's blood tests for 12 hours

The inquest also heard that a request to transfer Dhara Kivlehan to ICU was not acted on for eight hours.

Dhara and Michael Kivlehan.
Dhara and Michael Kivlehan.
Image: Family handout/PA Wire

Updated 11.20pm

AN INQUEST HAS heard that the consultant obstetrician involved in the care of Dhara Kivlehan before she died in September 2010 requested that she be transferred to the ICU eight hours before she was finally moved.

Dr Raouf Sallam has also described the fact that blood tests, taken upon Ms Kivlehan’s admission to Sligo General Hospital, were not reviewed for 12 hours, as an “error”, Denise Canavan from ShannonsideFM reports.

Dhara Kivlehan died on 28 September 2010 at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital just over a week after undergoing an emergency caesarean section at Sligo General Hospital.

Dhara Kivlehan’s consultant obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr Raouf Sallam told Sligo Leitrim Coroner’s Court this afternoon that an “error happened” upon Ms Kivlehan’s admission and that initial blood test results showing liver dysfunction, should have been “reviewed and acted upon” by her admitting doctor.

The court heard they were not checked until 12 hours after the blood was collected.

Dr Sallam said normally if they are highly suspicious of a person’s condition, blood tests will be very quickly traced, however, the clinical picture Dhara presented with was not very severe – and despite a suggestion of pre-eclampsia, there was no evidence of the condition upon admission.

He said they treated her as if she had severe pre-eclampsia as a preventative measure and requested her to be transferred to the ICU initially for recovery following her emergency Caesarean – but there was no bed available. The request was made again 24 hours later, eight hours before she was finally moved to the unit.

Dr Sallam told the court “if we knew the liver was bad, we never would have given her Pethidine” – a pain relief drug administered during labour but not recommended for patients with liver problems.

He told the court, that after the caesarean, there was nothing significantly wrong with Dhara’s situation, and that such abnormal blood results usually resolve themselves spontaneously after delivery without any residual damage.

The inquest continues.

Reporting by Denise Canavan. Published with permission of Shannonside, Longford, Roscommon and South Leitrim radio. See more at their website and follow them on Twitter @ShannonsideNews and @DeniseCanavan.

First published 5.15pm

Earlier: Tests indicated ‘acute renal failure’ six days before Dhara Kivlehan died

Timeline: Search for answers after death of Dhara Kivlehan

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