The family of a woman who died after an allegedly negligent procedure in a Dublin hospital, have proceeded to make a claim for wrongful death compensation.
Susan McGee, aged fifty-two from Rush in Co. Dublin, was admitted to the Hermitage Medical Clinic on the 13th July 2013 for an operation to treat a hernia. The procedure, which is seen as routine, was initially declared successful and the mother-of-two was discharged from the facility three days later.
However, the day after her discharge, Susan began experiencing pain in her abdomen. One of her children brought her back to the clinic, where she was readmitted for monitoring. However, her condition continued to worsen and a CT scan conducted on the 22nd July showed that she had a small mass in her bowel.
An emergency operation was carried out that same day to remove the obstruction, after which Susan was transferred to intensive care at Beaumont Hospital. However, a day later, Susan died from multiple organ failure. This was caused by sepsis, which in turn was caused by a Clostridium difficile infection.
An inquest followed, and a hearing at Dublin City Coroner’s Court received evidence that there were many mistakes made whilst Susan was in care. Among the mistakes was a failure to report brown faecal fluid that was in Susan’s nasogastric tube, as well as a failure to note Susan’s vital signs for many hours on the 21st July, shortly before her death.
On the 20th and 21st July, there was just one medical officer on duty in the clinic, Dr Lachman Pahwani. Dr Pahwani testified during the hearing that he had tried to devote as much of his time as he could to Susan’s care, but he was responsible for over eighty-one patients on those days.
The inquest spurred Susan’s family to seek compensation for her wrongful death due to medical misadventure, which was the verdict of the inquest.