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Dr Katherine Astbury has read her statement at the close of day two of the inquest into the death of Savita Halappanavar.

The consultant detailed her dealings with Ms. Halapannavar from a routine
anti-natal visit to her hospitalisation later in October last year.

The consultant took to the witness box just before 4 this afternoon and began by saying she met Savita for a routine anti-natal visit on October 11th.

She said she was a fit 31 year old in her first pregnancy with a history of back pain.

She noted she was not in the hospital on the date when Savita was admitted on 21st October after presenting for the second time that day – this timewith persistent back pain.

She confirmed her membrane had ruptured when a review was carried out on
the 22nd.

She detailed subsequent reviews where scans confirmed the existence of a
foetal heartbeat.

On one occasion she said Savita was very upset and enquired about the possibility of medication to cause her to miscarry. She advised her that the legal position in Ireland did not allow her to terminate the pregnancy at that stage.

After her condition deteriorated, the consultant received a call and upon review said Savita was sweating and had difficulty breathing.

She then sought a second opinion from a colleague Dr. Geraldine Gaffney at the anti-natal clinic.

Ms. Astbury outlined to her colleague the clinical situation and said Ms Halapannavar needed a termination regardless of the foetal heart.

Her colleague Dr. Geraldine Gaffney agreed and offered to write a medical note to that effect.

She collected the scanner from the clinic and then found that the foetal demise had already occurred.

A spontaneous delivery followed.

She continued to detail the chronology of events from when Savita was taken to the high dependency unit to her eventual death on October 28th.

She said Savita suffered a cardiac arrest and attempts to resuscitate her were not successful.

She concluded by extending her sympathies and condolences to the next of kin.

Earlier Miriam Dunleavy, a staff midwife at UHG gave evidence.

Upon questioning, she said entries were put into Ms Halappanavar’s medical
notes by the hospital’s internal investigation team.

The coroner raised questions as to the appropriateness of this.

Senior Counsel for the HSE Declan Buckley said this is to be checked.

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393 Galway claims recorded by Personal Injuries Assessment Board



Galway Bay fm newsroom – 393 Galway claims were made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board last year.

2,898 claims came from Dublin, 884 from Cork and 590 from Limerick.

Nationally, there was a 16 per cent decrease in the volume of claims made to the board.

Awards have halved since new guidelines were introduced in April.

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board is publishing its annual report for 2020 this morning.

26,009 new claims were dealt with last year – with 206 million euro worth of compensation given out to accident victims.

The number of personal injuries claims made to the board fell by 16 per cent in 2020, mainly due to the pandemic.

There were far fewer people on the roads, attending workplaces or meeting together in public – and so there were fewer accidents.

In 2020, the average award was just over 24,000 euro.

Last year was the last full year the Book of Quantum was used to determine compensation amounts.

New guidelines came into effect on April 26th of this year – and the PIAB says the average awards has halved since then.

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West records second lowest level of residential construction during June



Galway Bay fm newsroom – The West recorded the second lowest level of residential construction during June.

Research from data analytics firm GeoDirectory shows just 10% of the residential buildings under construction in Ireland last month were in Connacht – just ahead of Ulster at 6%.

Over 50 percent of the new homes being built in June were in the Leinster region.

According to the report, more than 18 thousand houses and apartments were being built last month compared to 13 thousand at the same time in 2020.

CEO of GeoDirectory Dara Keogh, says the construction sector is showing signs of recovery since the pandemic.

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NUIG seeking participants for study on psychological factors in unexplained physical symptoms



Galway Bay fm newsroom – NUI Galway is seeking participants for a study to investigate psychological factors that could contribute to physical symptoms that have no medical explanation.

The symptoms being examined have been found to be more common during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in frontline health workers.

The study is investigating psychological factors that could contribute to medically unexplained physical symptoms, and a sense of being disconnected from the environment.

The School of Psychology study is seeking adults who may experience some of a number of symptoms.

These include a sense of detachment from their body or world around them; changes in senses such as vision, hearing, taste or smell; unexplained pain or numbness; or feelings of unreality.

Noting that unexplained physical symptoms have increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, researchers say the virus has deprived many people of connections and shared experiences, opportunities to grow and develop, and supportive environments.

In some people who feel particularly isolated, this may manifest as physical symptoms that have no medical explanation as our minds struggle to adapt with his new alien reality.

The study is open to anyone over the age of 18 and further information can be found on the NUI Galway website.

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