The High Court yesterday saw a private medical clinic issue an apology for the failures in the care for a 52-year old woman who died due to sepsis after contracting a rare infection in the aftermath of a hernia operation. This was following the award of €300,000 medical negligence compensation to the family of the woman.
The woman, Ms Susan McGee, was a mother of two at the time of her death. She passed away just 11 days after the hernia operation at the Hermitage Clinic in Dublin on July 24, 2013. Ms McGee had developed a rare Clostridium Difficile infection in her bowel following hernia operation. At the inquest into her death, a verdict of medical misadventure was returned.
Ms McGee’s daughter, Melissa Barry, spoke before the court saying that the death of her mother had a massive effect on her family. She said: “Our mother is missed every day by her entire family and a large circle of friends. We owed it to our amazing mam to seek answers and justice. We hope she can now rest in peace while we can rebuild the rest of our lives.”
Ms Barry added: “The Hermitage Medical Clinic has reassured us new procedures are in place for the handover of patients and we hope lessons have been learned. Patients need to be assured that details of their medical condition and care plan are properly communicated if they are being put in to the hands of a different medical professional. Hospital staff must also listen to and act on the concerns of a patient’s family.”
The medical negligence compensation case against the Hermitage and consultant surgeons Arnold Hill and Colm Power was taken by Melissa Barry, Grange Rise, Stamullen, Co Meath and her brother John McGee , Bretton Woods, Skerries Road, Rush , Co Dublin in relation to the treatment their mother received at clinic in 2013.
The High Court was informed that the defendants admitted liability after McGee suffered complications in the aftermath of hernia surgery in July 2013. Ms McGee’s surgeon was on annual leave when she was taken back into the clinic after becoming ill. The court was advised that another doctor was not available to administer care to her as he was on duty in a separate hospital and a third doctor was not told about Ms McGee’s condition. Sadly, after some attempted emergency surgery, she died on 22 July 2013.
Mr Justice Robert Eagar, in approving the medical negligence compensation settlement, expressed his condolences to the McGee family.