At the High Court, the HSE has issued an apology for negligence at a hospital which resulted in a woman dying of dehydration.
In January 2010, Eileen Brady was referred to the Cavan General Hospital by her GP after she had been diagnosed with a poor fluid intake which was manifesting in mouth ulcers. Eileen was admitted to hospital, but died a day later. It was revealed that her death was due to dehydration, which caused many of her organs to fail.
An investigation was launched into Eileen’s death, and it was reported that the treatment that Eileen had received for her dehydrated stated was ineffective in helping her, as her veins had collapsed due to the chemotherapy treatment that she was undergoing in a Dublin hospital to treat her stomach cancer.
It was also revealed that the death was entirely preventable had Eileen’s medical charts been examined more closely. If senior, more experienced physicians had been consulted as Eileen’s condition deteriorated further and further, or if Cavan General Hospital had leased with the Dublin hospital that was treating Eileen for her cancer, the condition of her veins could have been revealed and her death could have been prevented.
Martin Brady of Crosskeys, County Cavan-Eileen’s son-sought legal counsel and sued the Cavan General Hospital and the Health Service Executive (HSE) on behalf of his entire family. He claimed that Eileen’s death had been avoidable if the above measures were taken, and that Eileen’s death had caused the family mental distress. The HSE admitted liability for Eileen’s death, and a compensation settlement was agreed out of court, subject to the family receiving a public apology.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine oversaw the hearing at the High Court. A representative of the HSE read out a statement in which the hospital and the HSE both apologised for the negligence care which resulted in Eileen’s death, and the subsequent grief and stress that had been suffered by her friends and family.
Responding on behalf of the family, Aidan Brady said he hoped that both Cavan General Hospital and the HSE had learned from “the grave mistakes” made in the care of his mother “and that no other family would have to go through the trauma and distress that we have suffered”.