Widow of man, 67, who fell out of bed while in respite care settles case with HSE

Widow of man, 67, who fell out of bed while in respite care settles case with HSE

The widow of a man who fell out of his bed while in respite care and later died has settled her High Court action against the HSE.

Counsel Richard Kean SC told the court 67-year old Patrick Lalor had been assessed at high risk of falling but was put in a bed without the sides up and fell on to the floor.

It was claimed the pensioner was transferred to a community nursing respite care unit from the Midlands Regional Hospital in May 2015 because of a dire need for vacant beds in the hospital and without considering the care requirements or safety of Mr Lalor.

Counsel told the court that liability had been admitted in this profoundly sad and tragic case.

Mr Lalor's wife he said had remonstrated with and told the nursing care unit her husband needed to be in a bed with sides when he was transferred on May 18, 2015, but got a call in the middle of the next night to say he had fallen out of bed and was seriously injured.

Mr Lalor in the fall suffered a degloving injury of the right hand and below the right knee and also suffered a loss of consciousness.

A CT scan later showed Mr Lalor had sustained an eye socket fracture.

Mr Kean told the court the pensioner later developed infection in the lacerations and sepsis and developed pneumonia and died on June 10, 2015.

Maria Lalor, Kylehill, Cashel, Portlaoise, Co Laois had sued the HSE over the care received by her husband after he was transferred to the Community Nursing Unit 2 in the residential care unit of Abbeyleix District Hospital.

It was claimed that there was a failure to conduct any assessment for bed rails at the time of Mr Lalor's admission to the Community Nursing Unit or to review that position prior to his fall from a bed at the facility.

There was, it was claimed, a failure to apply bed rails to Mr Lalor's bed and to safeguard him from falling.

There was also, it was claimed, a failure to carry out any or any adequate monitoring of Mr Lalor given his condition, his confused state and the fact that he had just been admitted to the facility on the previous evening and that he had been very ill.

It was further alleged there was a failure to attach any weight to the fact Mrs Lalor advised her husband had previously been nursed with bed rails and recommended he be put in a bed with rails.

Mrs Lalor it was alleged suffered intense nervous shock when she was telephoned in the middle of the night to be told her husband had fallen from his bed.

She is unable to get the graphic and horrific images of her husband's injuries and his final days out of her mind and suffers from nightmares and flashbacks.

Approving the settlement the details of which are confidential, Mr Justice Kevin Cross extended his sympathy to Mrs Lalor and the Lalor family.

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