Family Awarded €1m Over New Mum's Death

Family Awarded €1m Over New Mum's Death

The family of a woman who died a week after giving birth to her first child has been awarded almost €1m (£826,000) in damages from health chiefs.

Dhara Kivlehan, 28, died from multi-organ failure at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital in September 2010.

She had been airlifted from Sligo General Hospital after suffering from a severe variant of pre-eclampsia called Hellp, or Haemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes and Low Platelets.

Her death and maternity care has drawn comparisons with that of dentist Savita Halappanavar , who died in hospital in Galway last October after suffering a miscarriage and blood poisoning.

Inquiries into Mrs Halappanavar's death found she was denied an abortion as she miscarried and subsequently suffered fatal infection as doctors failed to recognise and act on signs that her condition was deteriorating.

In the High Court in Dublin on Tuesday, the Health Service Executive (HSE) apologised to widower Michael Kivlehan for shortcomings in his late wife's management and care at Sligo, where the couple's son Dior was delivered.

Adrienne Egan, a barrister for HSE, told the court: "The HSE unreservedly apologises to the Kivlehan and Sandhu family for the shortcomings in relation to the management and care of Dhara Kivlehan at Sligo Regional Hospital.

"They offer their sincere condolences to Michael Kivlehan and to his extended family in Ireland and India.

"The HSE confirms that lessons have been learned from the tragic outcome in Dhara's case."

Mrs Kivlehan, originally from India, died on September 28, 2010, and the inquest into her death, to be held in Northern Ireland, has been delayed for the court action.

Her heartbroken widower has been supported in court by his parents Michael and Susan.

The couple met in 2002 in London, where Dhara was studying fashion and Michael was working.

They moved to Co Leitrim, married in 2005 and planned to bring up a family where Michael grew up.