Widow settles case over death of husband from blood clot while recuperating in hospital

A woman whose husband died from a blood clot while he was in hospital recuperating from surgery has settled her High Court action.

Widow settles case over death of husband from blood clot while recuperating in hospital

A woman whose husband died from a blood clot while he was in hospital recuperating from surgery has settled her High Court action.

Ellen Hackett's husband John (aged 71), of Finglas, Dublin, who had five children and was a grandfather of six died from a pulmonary thrombo-embolism five years ago.

Mrs Hackett's counsel Des O’Neill SC told the High Court it was their case Mr Hackett was recuperating from an operation when he developed a pulmonary embolism which was allegedly not diagnosed in time, and once diagnosed was allegedly not treated adequately.

Mrs Hackett who had been married to John for 50 years told an inquest into his death that life stood still for her and her family after the death of her husband.

Taking the stand at the inquest two years ago, Mrs Hackett said his coat was hanging in the hall in the family home, but "John is not where he should be".

"You only have to put a foot in the door of our family home to see the shock and devastation of John's death," she said.

The emptiness is palpable. Life has stood still for us as a family since the day John died.

She added: "I have lost my husband, my best friend and life companion of nearly 50 years."

The Coroner returned a verdict of medical misadventure in the case.

In the High Court, Ellen Hackett (aged 74) Kildonan Avenue, Finglas, Dublin, had sued the Mater Hospital Dublin where the initial surgery had been carried out and the Incorporated Orthopaedic Hospital of Ireland, Castle Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin, where Mr Hackett had been transferred for rehabilitation in November 2014.

The case against the Mater Hospital was struck out at the High Court today.

Mrs Hackett had claimed against the Incorporated Orthopaedic Hospital of Ireland, Clontarf, that a large number of opportunities had been allegedly missed to diagnose pulmonary embolism from November 14, 2014 onward and there was an alleged failure to have regard to the fact that in the absence of chest infection, the most likely explanation for reduced blood oxygen levels was pulmonary embolism.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to refer Mr Hackett for a CT pulmonary angiogram and an alleged failure by December 1, 2014, to conclude his pleuritic chest pain was likely to be due to pulmonary embolism.

While pulmonary embolism was considered on December 3, 2014, and Mr Hackett was given an injection of the anticoagulant Heparin, it was claimed the dose was too small to have any effect on an established pulmonary embolism.

Mrs Hackett claimed she and her family suffered great distress at the death of Mr Hackett and she found it difficult to come to terms with the sudden loss of her husband. The claims were denied.

Approving the settlement the details of which are confidential, Mr Justice Kevin Cross offered his sympathies to Mrs Hackett and her family.

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