Tipperary hospital apologises for failings in care of man during seven-hour operation

The court heard the man had suffered “a traumatic life-changing experience“ after the surgery went on for so long
Tipperary hospital apologises for failings in care of man during seven-hour operation

In a letter of apology, the general manager of South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel said the hospital would like to express an unreserved apology to Mr Corcoran for the failings in his care at the hospital on December 8, 2017. File picture: Denis Minihane

South Tipperary General Hospital has apologised in the High Court for the failings in care to a 46-year-old man who went in to hospital for a two-hour procedure which ended up taking almost seven hours.

Plumber Niall Corcoran ended up with leg problems after the operation in December 2017.

His Counsel Jeremy Maher SC, instructed by solicitor Cian O’Carroll, told the High Court today Mr Corcoran had suffered “a traumatic life-changing experience“ after the surgery went on for so long.

In a letter of apology which was read to the court during a remote ruling, the hospital general manager said the hospital would like to express an unreserved apology to Mr Corcoran for the failings in his care at the hospital on December 8, 2017.

“We understand that this apology cannot negate the adverse effect of the surgery on your life and we are truly sorry for the pain and distress this has caused you,” the letter added.

The apology was read out as Mr Corcoran settled his High Court action against the HSE. The details of the settlement which came about after mediation are confidential.

The claims around the case

His Counsel told the court Mr Corcoran had been told when he went in for his operation on December 8, 2017, he would be home in time for Christmas, but in fact he had to stay in hospital for two weeks after the operation and later received treatment as an outpatient, including physiotherapy.

Niall Corcoran, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, had sued the HSE over the care he received at South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel, in December 2017.

Mr Corcoran, who had a significant history of abdominal symptoms, went in to hospital to have an operation to remove one side of his colon. He had been advised the surgery would take two hours but it in fact took about seven hours.

It was claimed that due to the inadequate positioning of Mr Corcoran during the course of the protracted procedure he was caused to suffer nerve injury, which has left him with symptoms of right-sided foot drop, pain and numbness over the top of his feet. He is also required to use a splint on his right foot while walking.

It was claimed there was a failure to place Mr Corcoran’s legs in stirrups with care to prevent direct pressure on the lateral side of the lower leg and there was also a failure to have any adequate regard to the extended duration of the operation and take steps to ease the pressure on Mr Corcoran’s lower legs.

It was further claimed a condition was allowed to develop which they ought to have known may arise in the event of the inappropriate positioning of Mr Corcoran during the procedure.

Liability was admitted in the case.

Noting the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he was sure Mr Corcoran was pleased about the apology and settlement and he wished him all the best for the future.

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