HSE records three maternal deaths in Ireland in the last week

The HSE has confirmed that three maternal deaths have taken place in Ireland in the last week.

The three mothers died in separate hospitals across the country – University Hospital Kerry, Cork University Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda – in the last seven days.

The HSE has noted the deaths as tragic circumstances, as Ireland typically has a low number of maternal deaths compared to the average rate across Europe.

Last Friday (June 21), Stephy Scaria (née Ouseph) died unexpectedly in Cork University Hospital, after giving birth via C-section.

Stephy originally hailed from India, but had been living in Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, with her husband Baiju.

On Sunday (June 23), Naomi James (née Boyle) sadly died in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, after giving birth to her baby Cal. Alongside her newborn, Naomi is survived by her husband Michael and her three other children.

Both Stephy and Naomi’s families have set up separate GoFundMe pages for their immediate families, in order to help them with the financial costs of their sudden losses.

This month, University Hospital Kerry also confirmed that a mother in their care had died and that the Coroner has been informed. 

In line with the HSE’s policy on all maternal deaths, external reviews will be carried out on the sudden loss of these mothers.

University Hospital Kerry went on to note that they are “providing bereavement support to the family at this very sad time,” and that “hospital management and staff at UHK wish to express their condolences and deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased during this very difficult period.”

In terms of maternal deaths, the World Health Organisation specifies that they occur while a woman is pregnant or within 42 days of the end of the pregnancy.

From the years 2019 to 2021, a total of 12 women in Ireland died during or shortly after pregnancy.

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