A High Court compensation action for nervous shock caused by death in childbirth has been settled for €650,000 in favour of the husband and son of a woman who died at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) shortly after having an emergency caesarean section.
Nora Hyland (31), who was originally from Malaysia, died on the operating table at the NMH, Holles Street, Dublin, on February 13, 2012, just three hours after having an emergency caesarean section during the birth of her son Frederick. Despite the compensation action being settled, the hospital did not admit liability and refutes the claims that were made.
Legal Counsel for the Hylands, Sasha Louise Gayer, told the High Court that the family were satisfied with the settlement but were too upset to attend court for the approval hearing. Ms Gayer advised the court that Frederick was delivered successfully. However, shortly after the delivery Ms Hyland began to lose a lot of blood.
The inquest into Ms Hyland’s death returned a verdict of medical misadventure. She (Ms Hyland) had to wait almost 40 minutes for a blood transfusion after she suffered severe bleeding during the emergency birth.
Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell ruled that the cause of death was cardiac arrest which happened as a result of severe post-partum haemorrhage. However, he could not confirm that the delay in Mrs Hyland receiving blood was a “definite” factor in her death.
The inquest was also told that a labelling error in the laboratory led to a 37-minute delay in Mrs Hyland being given the blood transfusion. Another issue was that no emergency supply units of O-negative, the universal blood type, were kept in operating theatres at the National Maternity Hospital at the time of the incident. Swift steps were employed in theatre and a request for blood was processed just after midnight. A blood transfusion was completed 40 minutes later.
Mr Hyland, (42) Station Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin had taken the legal action against the National Maternity Hospital for nervous shock in relation to the traumatic circumstances.