Judge John O’ Connor given his approval a cancelled hospital procedure compensation award of €10,000 against the Mater Private Hospital after Peter Keegan, who had been placed under anaesthetic, never had his operation as a piece of medical equipment was missing.
31-year-old Mr Keegan was due to have an operation on his right hip on 25 November 2016, in the Mater Private Hospital, Eccles St, Dublin 7. However, after he has been placed under general anaesthetic it was seen that an irrigation extender was not present missing and the the procedure could not go ahead. Mr Keegan was informed of this when he awoke, resulting in some distress and his teams of nurses had to calm him down.
Mr Keegan advised the judge that was very drowsy upon being sent home from the hospital and went on to experience stomach discomfort and nausea in the days after the cancelled procedure.
The Court was informed told that Mr Keegan – who lives at Woodbine Park, Raheny, Dublin 5 was represented in court by Barrister Conor Kearney, appearing with Mark Tiernan, of Tiernan & Company solicitors – had been taken into the hospital’s short stay procedure unit at 6.45am on the morning it was scheduled. At around 7.30am he was given an anesthetic by a specialist. Following this, when set of instruments for the procedure had been unpacked, it was see that the irrigation extender was not not there.
After searching for the item, the surgical team realised that the missing piece of equipment had been sent for repair around one month earlier. No substitute had been arranged. When Mr Keegan came around from the anaesthetic around 8.30am, he was informed the unfortunate mistake.
A new procedure was arranged for December 5, some ten days later. Mr Keegan told the Judge that he had been very concerned in the run-up to the new operation. He said he was very nervous about having another anaesthetic.
Judge O’Connor ruled that there had been negligence on behalf of the Mater Private Hospital in what he termed an ‘unfortunate incident’. The Judge added that Mr Keegan had been upset and concerned following after the cancelled procedure and was fortunate that there had been no longer-term consequences of the mistake.
Judge O’Connor awarded Keegan €10,000 hospital procedure compensation the Mater Private Hospital.