Via PZ, another doctor weighs in, making it very clear what the treatment for Savita Halappanavar should have been. It’s medical knowledge from an OB-GYN plus Jen Gunter has actually had the same complication herself.
Not only do I know these scenarios backwards and forwards as an OB/GYN, I had ruptured membranes in my own pregnancy at 22 weeks, a rescue cerclage, and then sepsis. I know how bad it can be.
As Ms. Halappanavar died of an infection, one that would have been brewing for several days if not longer, the fact that a termination was delayed for any reason is malpractice. Infection must always be suspected whenever, preterm labor, premature rupture of the membranes, or advanced premature cervical dilation occurs (one of the scenarios that would have brought Ms. Halappanavar to the hospital).
Read the whole post. It’s informative and infuriating.
There’s an update.
Since posting this piece I learned that Ms. Halappanavar’s widower reported that she was leaking amniotic fluid and was fully dilated when first evaluated. There is no medically defensible position for doing anything other than optimal pain control and hastening delivery by the safest means possible.
Ben Goldacre wonders if any of the doctors involved were also involved in the recent statement that abortion is never needed to protect the life of the mother. It looks as if the answer is yes.
…one of the organisers of the conference was Eamon O’Dwyer, professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynaecology at NUI Galway, which is attached to University Hospital in Galway, where Savita Halappanavar died.
A response -
Certainly Eamon O’Dwyer is an interesting character. He’s at least 85 years old. He was raised by the Christian Brothers and has been happy to defend them in print. http://www.irishsalem.com/religious-congregations/christian-brothers/defendin…. He was performing symphysiotomies until quite recently http://business.highbeam.com/5900/article-1G1-221653495/men-butchered-us-thre…and is generally serious God-squad.
It would interesting to know how much influence he has on the policies of the hospital which is not, apparently, overtly religious.
Jesus H fucking christ.