Women Dying of Sepsis in Irish Hospitals has not Stopped due to Obsessive Focus on Abortion

Women Dying of Sepsis

Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” during World War II. However, Saul Alinsky’s “Rule for Radicals,” which is widely attributed to people on the opposing side of politics, is also often cited as the source of the quote. In any case, the phrase came to mean either learning from or manipulating adversity.

This week, Reachtnin wrote in the Dubhaltach Ó about Savita Halappanavar, whose untimely death during childbirth served as a catalyst for an ongoing effort to legalize abortion in Ireland.

When Halappanavar passed away, it was widely stated that her unviable pregnancy was treated by an abortion, and that Ireland’s anti-abortion constitutional protections and related regulations were the cause of her death.

According to Ó Reachtnin, an inquest held in 2013 concluded that Halappanavar’s death was caused by a “medical misadventure” and “fulminant septic shock from E. coli bacteremia,” which was exacerbated by a number of systemic errors, such as disregarding sepsis treatment guidelines. One doctor said at the inquest that she died from the worst case of sepsis he had seen in thirty years.
Despite numerous investigations and inquests that concluded that mishandling Halappanavar’s infection was the primary cause of his death, the problem of sepsis management received little attention, and the “Catholic denial of abortion” story gained traction across the nation and the globe. Following her death, the coroner made numerous recommendations, three of which were specifically tied to the care of sepsis and were to be implemented nationwide.

The international medical literature at the time of Savita Halappanavar’s death recognized sepsis as one of the most frequent causes of mortality in maternal healthcare.

In 2007, Tania McCabe, a different woman, gave birth in Drogheda and succumbed to sepsis. Six years after her death, a Hiqa report discovered that the majority of maternity units were unable to provide information about how they had been following the sepsis prevention guidelines that had been released.

According to Ó Reachtaín, a “letter from 11 doctors” stated that it is critical that all obstetrical units in Ireland consider the lessons learned from the Galway occurrences and work toward providing better care for expectant mothers. Reducing it to a polemical debate about abortion could actually increase future mortality rather than decrease them.

Subsequently, he examines another well-known tragedy: Aoife Johnston, who was just 16 years old when she passed away on December 19, 2018, after spending 12 hours in a progressively worsening emergency room at University Hospital Limerick. The evaluation determined that there had been a violation of the national rules for managing sepsis in her treatment.

I think he makes a good argument about the care that has been prioritized by Irish health ministers after the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
We were constantly assured that Ireland would become a safer and better place for pregnant women if abortion became legal.

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