Patient died after contracting two superbugs


A woman died in hospital after contracting what were described yesterday as two ‘hospital superbugs’ at the South Infirmary/Victoria Hospital almost nine years ago. And yesterday the family of the deceased was awarded €50,000.

The settlement offer of €50,000 was made by South Infirmary/Victoria Hospital Ltd of Old Blackrock Road, Cork, at the High Court sitting in Cork.

Eileen O’Sullivan, aged 58, died in the hospital on July 21, 2007. The settlement offer in the case, described by the plaintiff’s counsel John O’Mahony as a medical negligence action, was made to the family of the deceased and brought to court by Shirley Babington of Gurranabraher Road, Cork.

The late Eileen O’Sullivan was admitted to hospital because of difficulty breathing on May 17, 2007. Mr O’Mahony said she had other difficulties including diabetes.

She had to be given what was described as aggressive antibiotic therapy and was vulnerable to the possibility of hospital infection that might arise, the plaintiff’s senior counsel said. She contracted two well-known hospital bugs including MRSA and was very unwell from June to July 2007.

Mr O’Mahony said the €50,000 settlement of the case represented close to the full value of the action.

Counsel said that many MRSA cases were pending in the courts and that the first fully-contested case would be mounted soon with experts in microbiology coming from outside the country to give evidence.

“There is a very significant number of cases of this kind in the wings at the moment,” Mr O’Mahony said.

Mr Justice Michael White said: “Obviously, my sympathies to the family of the deceased. It is a sad situation. Ms O’Sullivan obviously died before her time. The court approves the settlement and considers it a good settlement.”


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