Courts

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Man (65) awarded €310,000 in claim he got 'inappropriate care' following operation in Galway's Bon Secours Hospital

Published 01/04/2014 | 17:52

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A 65-YEAR-old man who claimed he received inappropriate care and monitoring in the days after a hernia repair operation in Galway's Bon Secours Hospital has been awarded €310,000 by the High Court.

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Gerry Foley had to be later rushed to University College Hospital Galway for a life-saving operation to deal with peritonitis and spent three months in hospital.

Father of three, Mr Foley (65) of Newcastle, Galway city had sued Bon Secours Health System Ltd trading as Bon Secours Hospital, Galway over the care he received at the hospital following a hernia repair operation on August 20, 2007.

Mr Foley maintained he received inappropriate care and monitoring in the days following his surgery.

He claimed there was an alleged delay in diagnosing an anostomotic leak, which by the time it was made, Mr Foley was so ill he required intensive care.

He was transferred to University College Hospital Galway, where he underwent life saving surgery to deal with peritonitis caused by the leak.

It was claimed had emergency surgery been commenced earlier at Bon Secours, he would have avoided many of the complications he subsequently had to endure and would have required hospitalisation for 14 days instead of three months.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine, in her judgment, accepted the expert medical  evidence from Mr Foley's side.

This stated  that because a patient who sustains a leak will go on to develop potentially fatal peritonitis, once a leak is considered to be even a remote possibility, the patient  must be managed as if they have one until a chest x ray establishes otherwise.

The failure to direct an x- ray on August 26, 2007 at Bon Secours, the judge said, fell short of an acceptable standard of care.

When considering damages, the judge said, she had to take in to account that Mr Foley would have had had to cope with the consequences of two serious operations anyway: the hernia repair on August 20 and and surgery to repair the leak and this would have required two weeks in hospital.

Ms Justice Irvine said Mr Foley had made a relatively rapid recovery following his discharge from hospital in November 2007.

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