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Thursday 18 September 2014

Cancer patient died after 'a catalogue of errors', court told

Tim Healy

Published 12/02/2014 | 02:30

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Aidan Brady, son of the late Eileen Brady. Picture: Collins
Aidan Brady, son of the late Eileen Brady. Picture: Collins

A CANCER patient who was admitted to a hospital suffering dehydration died the next day after a "catalogue of errors", a court was told.

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The HSE and Cavan General Hospital apologised to the family of Eileen Brady (65) for failings in her care and treatment.

Bruce Antoniotti SC, for the family, told the High Court that the mother of five was suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy treatment at a Dublin hospital.

She was referred to Cavan General Hospital by her GP with mouth ulcers and poor fluid intake to be treated for dehydration.

Counsel said the treatment at the hospital was ineffective, as her veins had collapsed.

He said there were many things that could have been done but her chart was not read, senior doctors were not sought on the matter and there was no liaison with the Dublin hospital where Mrs Brady was being treated for her cancer.

There was, counsel said, a "catalogue of errors" and Mrs Brady suffered multi-organ failure. She had been admitted on January 5, 2010 and died the next day.

Expert evidence would have said the dehydration was reversible, according to counsel. He added that liability was admitted in the case.

Mrs Brady's son, Martin Brady, of Togher, Crosskeys, Co Cavan, on behalf of the family, sued the HSE for mental distress and damage over the provision of hospital medical care to Mrs Brady and her death in January 2010.

Declan Buckley SC, for the HSE, read out a statement in the High Court as the family settled an action for damages. It stated that the apology was on behalf of both the HSE and the hospital for failings which led to Mrs Brady's "untimely death".

It added: "We apologise for the subsequent grief, hurt and stress suffered by her immediate family and friends, including her sons, daughter, brothers, sisters and grandchildren."

TRAUMA

One of Mrs Brady's sons, Aidan, read out a statement on behalf of the family to the court.

He said the family had decided to pursue the case after there had been "a lot of confusion and unanswered questions" after their mother's sudden and untimely death.

Mr Brady continued: "Through our family bond and the support of our close relations, we have given each other the strength to follow this issue to this conclusion today.

"We realise our mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer and we acknowledge the severity of this condition.

"However, she should have received the proper care that any person is entitled to, instead of the inhumane treatment she received in the hours prior to her death."

Mr Brady said he hoped that both Cavan Hospital and the HSE had learned from "the grave mistakes" made in this case "and that no other family would have to go through the trauma and distress that we have suffered".

Ms Justice Mary Irvine extended her personal sympathy to the Brady family.

Irish Independent

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