A High Court birth negligence compensation action in relation to nervous shock due to death in childbirth has been settled for €650,000 in favour of the husband and son of a woman who died shortly after having an emergency caesarean section at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH).
Sasha Louise Gayer, legal representative for the Hylands, informed the High Court that the family were content with the settlement but were too sad to be present in court for the compensation approval hearing.
The official inquest into Ms Hyland’s death gave a verdict of death due to medical misadventure. Ms Hyland was left waiting almost 40 minutes for a blood transfusion after she began bleeding heavily during the emergency birth.
Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell said in his ruling that the cause of death was cardiac arrest due to severe post-partum haemorrhage. However, Dr Farrell could not confirm that the delay in Mrs Hyland receiving blood was a “definite” factor in her death.
In addition to this, the inquest was also told that a labelling mistake in the laboratory led to a 37-minute delay in Mrs Hyland being administered the blood transfusion. Another was that no emergency supply units of O-negative, the universal blood type, were available in operating theatres at the hospital when the incident occurred. Measures were quickly put in place to address this and a request for blood was submitted just after midnight with the blood transfusion being carried out 40 minutes later.
Nora Hyland was 31 at the time of her death. Originally from Malaysia, she died on the operating table at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin, on February 13, 2012, just three hours after having an emergency caesarean section during the delivery of her son Frederick. The hospital did not admit liability as part of the compensation settlement and refutes the claims that were made during the hearing.
Nora’s husband, had taken the legal action against the National Maternity Hospital for nervous shock in relation to the traumatic circumstances of his wife’s passing.