Mum of three died after varicose-vein surgery
An inquest into the death of a mother of three, who died nine days after undergoing a routine operation to remove varicose veins at a private hospital, has heard staff could not re-admit her as they were unable to contact her consultant, who was on holiday.
Karen McCabe (46), of Bewley Drive, Lucan, Dublin, underwent the procedure at the Bon Secours Hospital in Dublin on August 6, 2014. She died at Beaumont Hospital on August 15 after a blood clot, believed to have originated in her lower leg, travelled to her lungs.
An inquest at Dublin Coroner's Court heard yesterday that Mrs McCabe's vascular surgeon, Prof Austin Leahy, went on holiday to Kerry two days after carrying out the procedure and left specific instructions that he should be contacted via text message if he was needed.
However, network coverage in the area was unreliable, the court heard. Mrs McCabe contacted Bon Secours three days before her death complaining of pain in her knee. Senior House Officer (SHO) Dr Kingsley Opputeh wanted to admit her and carry out a scan, but only Prof Leahy could authorise her admission.
Prof Leahy noticed a missed call from a general Bons Secours number and did not reply because it was not a specific number, the court heard.
Bons Secours Hospital manager Mike Tonery confirmed it was hospital procedure that consultants must take responsibility for admitting patients but said "never again" would an SHO be prevented from admitting a patient because a consultant was not available.
A verdict of death by medical misadventure was returned.
In a statement, Mrs McCabe's family said they were comforted that new arrangements had been put in place at the hospital but added: "Nothing can bring (Karen) back."