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Dhara Kivlehan inquest: Delay of 36 hours between diagnosis and transfer for special care

Her family feel something could have been done if she was not “at death’s door” when she got to Belfast.

Image: Family handout/PA Wire

SLIGO LEITRIM CORONER’S court has heard that there was a delay of 36 hours between when Dhara Kivlehan was fully diagnosed with HELLP syndrome and when she was finally transferred to Belfast’s Victoria Hospital for specialised care.

Ms Kivlehan died four days later on 28 September 2010 in the Belfast Hospital – just over a week after undergoing an emergency caesarean section at Sligo General Hospital.

Yesterday, Dhara Kivlehan’s consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist in Sligo General Hospital Dr Raouf Sallam gave evidence before Coroner Eamon MacGowan that the 29 year old was found to have a partial diagnosis of HELLP syndrome – an extreme and rare variant of pre-eclampsia – approximately 36 hours after she under went a emergency caesarean section.

Ms Kivlehan then developed a fully-blown case of HELLP the following morning, ShannonsideFM’s Denise Canavan reports.

However, it was 36 hours later before she was transferred to Belfast Victoria Hospital for advanced specialised care at 11pm on 24 September.

Solicitor for the Kivlehan Family, Roger Murray put it to Dr Sallam that the Kivlehan family feels that a chance was lost, and that something could have been done for Dhara, had she not been “at death’s door” by the time she was finally transferred.

The consultant said he had formed the opinion the morning of the 24th that Ms Kivlehan should be transferred to a specialist unit but that they had tried a number of hospitals, including Dublin, Cork and Galway, and there were no ICU beds available.

The inquest continues today, with evidence expected from Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Ronan O’Hare and Belfast’s Dr Paul Glover.

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.

Read: Doctor describes ‘error’ as hospital failed to look at Dhara Kivlehan’s blood tests for 12 hours

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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