Family settle over death of grandmother after discharge from Midland Regional Hospital

A grandmother who was discharged from the Midland Regional Hospital when she allegedly still had a post operative infection died 10 days later at home, the High Court has heard.

Family settle over death of grandmother after discharge from Midland Regional Hospital

By Ann O'Loughlin

A grandmother who was discharged from the Midland Regional Hospital when she allegedly still had a post operative infection died 10 days later at home, the High Court has heard.

Christine Doyle could barely walk and had to be helped by her husband and daughter when she was discharged from Midland Regional Hospital after a routine gallbladder operation.

The 69-year-old mother-of-four and grandmother passed away 10 days later as the family waited for an ambulance to arrive.

Senior Counsel Richard Kean told the High Court Mrs Doyle died from hypovolemic shock as a result of a delayed post-operative haemorrhage.

Mrs Doyle’s widower and her family today settled their High Court action against the HSE over the care of Mrs Doyle at Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

The settlement which was without admission of liability, included a letter from the HSE offering its "sincere sympathies" and expressing "sorrow" on the tragic death of Mrs Doyle on September 16, 2013.

The terms of the settlement are confidential.

A photo of Christine Doyle is desplayed outside the court today by a mamber of her family. Pic: Courtpix
A photo of Christine Doyle is desplayed outside the court today by a mamber of her family. Pic: Courtpix

Outside court, Mrs Doyle’s daughter Dympna Cromb on behalf of the Doyle family said, although the HSE had passed on their condolences, the Doyles are disappointed it has not given details of measures put in place to prevent such a thing happening again.

“The emotional torment we have endured as a family over the last four years is completely unacceptable and needless,” she said.

Mrs Doyle's husband Colm Doyle of Ballinalee, Longford had sued the HSE over the care his wife received in 2013.

Mrs Doyle attended the hospital in July 2013 and was found to have symptomatic gallstones which required surgery.

Surgery was carried out on August 28, 2013, and afterwards Mrs Doyle developed an infection and was treated with intravenous antibiotics.

Despite the presence of the ongoing infection, it was claimed Mrs Doyle was discharged from hospital and subsequently died on September 16, 2013.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to bring an infection Mrs Doyle developed post operatively under control and an alleged failure to establish the nature of a 4cm collections seen on the abdominal ultrasound scan.

It was further claimed Mrs Doyle had been recommenced on Warfarin therapy on August 31, 2013, and continued her on warfarin therapy from that point despite her demonstrating signs of sepsis and infection.

Mrs Doyle was discharged from hospital on September 6, 2013 when it was alleged she was unfit for discharge and when her infection was allegedly not adequately under control.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to heed Mrs Doyle’s ongoing complaints of abdominal pain and her condition on the date of discharge when she was hardly able to walk. The claims were denied.

Richard Kean SC with Esther Earley BL told the court the case arose from the tragic and disturbing death of Mrs Doyle who was much loved.

He said Mrs Doyle had gone into hospital for a straightforward gallbladder operation. She was in hospital for 10 days.

He said the discharge of Mrs Doyle from hospital was a major issue in the case. He said it still troubled the family that they had to wait one hour and 20 minutes for an ambulance on the night she died.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross extended his sincere sympathy to the Doyle family.

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