The family of a mother who died because of organ failure following a routine operation have made a claim for bereavement compensation for death due to medical misadventure.
Susan McGee, aged fifty-two from Rush in Co. Dublin – attended the Hermitage Medical Clinic on the 13th July 2013 for an operation to treat a hernia. The surgery, initially described as routine, was initially deemed successful and Susan was discharged a few days later. The mother-of-two went home to the care of her daughter.
However, just a day after her discharge, Susan was experiencing pains in her abdomen and was feeling unwell. Her daughter brought her back to the Hermitage, and Susan was admitted for observation. A CAT scan conducted on the 22nd July revealed that Susan had a small mass in her bowel.
An emergency surgery was carried out to remove the mass, but Susan’s condition continued to deteriorate. The next day, she was transferred to an intensive care unit in Beaumont Hospital, but died a day later from multiple organ failure and sepsis. The sepsis was a result of a Clostridium difficile infection.
In June 2015, an inquest was carried out into Susan’s death. The Dublin City Coroner’s Court heard evidence of many errors made in Susan’s treatment and care, including a failure by medical staff to act on brown faecal fluid that was emerging from Susan’s nasogastric tube. Susan’s vital signs were also not recorded between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm just three days before she died.
Additional evidence as given that, on the 20th and 21st July, there was only one resident medical officer on duty. The medical officer, Dr Lachman Pahwani, testified that he had tried to devote as much time as possible to Susan, as he knew of her weak condition, but that he had eighty-one patients under his care at the time.
Susan’s family have since sought legal counsel, and are making a claim for her wrongful death due to medical misadventure, as this was the verdict delivered by the inquest.