Hospital apologises for 'failings in care' of grandad who died days after presenting with shortness of breath

The apology was read to the High Court as William Carpenter’s widow and family settled a High Court action for €140,000.
Hospital apologises for 'failings in care' of grandad who died days after presenting with shortness of breath

Beaumont Hospital has apologised for the "failings in care" of William Carpenter who was discharged from the hospital emergency department with a prescription after he first presented at the hospital with shortness of breath. File photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

A Dublin hospital has apologised in court for the "failings in care" to a 64-year old man who died of a heart attack four days after he first presented at the hospital with shortness of breath.

Grandfather to six, William Carpenter was referred to Beaumont Hospital on August 6, 2013, and was noted to have a history of increasing shortness of breath. After an ECG he was discharged from the hospital emergency department with a prescription, but four days later he went back to the hospital where he was admitted to the acute medical unit. He died of cardiac arrest almost four hours later.

The case, the family’s counsel Dr John O’Mahony told the High Court, was a profoundly sad and tragic one.

The apology was read to the High Court as Mr Carpenter’s widow and family settled a High Court action for €140,000.

In the apology Beaumont Hospital said together with its clinical and nursing staff it wished to extend “their sincere and heartfelt sympathy to the Carpenter family on the death of Mr Carpenter.” 

It further said: “The Hospital wishes to apologise unreservedly to Mrs Marie Carpenter and her family for the Hospital’s failings and the distress and sorrow caused to the Carpenter family.” Mr Carpenter’s widow Marie Carpenter of Marino, Dublin, had sued the Beaumont Hospital.

Mr Carpenter was referred to the emergency department of Beaumont Hospital on August 6, 2013. He was recorded as having a heart rate of 104 beats per minute and was noted as having a history of increasing shortness of breath which was worse when lying down.

It was also noted he was not able to sleep the previous night because of breathlessness. He had an ECG but it is claimed he did not undergo any other investigation.

The ECG, it was claimed, showed the presence of abnormalities and Mr Carpenter was discharged with a prescription.

Mr Carpenter continued to be unwell and went back to the hospital emergency department four days later on August 10, 2013, and he was transferred to the acute medical unit but he suffered a heart attack there and died.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to investigate Mr Carpenter properly or at all when he presented to the hospital on August 6.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to have any appropriate regard for the ECG abnormalities and that he should have been admitted to the hospital on August 6.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to have any or any proper regard to a cardiac event as a cause of breathlessness.

Beaumont Hospital admitted a breach of duty in its failure to investigate and admit Mr Carpenter to hospital on August 6, 2013.

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