Sunday 22 October 2017

Patient sues hospital after overdose error

Denis Myers leaving the High Court. Collins
Denis Myers leaving the High Court. Collins

Tim Healy

A MAN has claimed that he suffered a brain injury after being given an overdose of a morphine-type drug by mistake in a hospital.

Builder Denis Myers (67) was given "a massive overdose" of the painkilling drug in error by a nurse who thought she was cleaning out a tube inserted into Mr Myers, a court heard.

He was recovering from major cancer surgery at St James's Hospital in Dublin at the time, the High Court was told.

Mr Myers said he thought he was going to die. "I was terrified," he said.

John White SC said his client was already on a prescribed, slow-release morphine tablet, as well as on morphine injections after surgery – but received what should have been a lethal overdose.

The nurse thought she was cleaning out the line and a syringe had not been properly labelled, counsel said.

Mr Myers, of Conigar, Askeaton, Co Limerick, has sued St James's for alleged negligence as a result of the overdose on March 18, 2010. The hospital admits the incident happened but disputes that the overdose caused the injuries claimed.

Mr Myers claimed there was a failure to administer oxygen for 25 minutes. He has further claimed that an antidote was not given until 50 minutes after the overdose.

His counsel said it was a terrifying experience for Mr Myers, who felt a bang through his head and felt he was falling backwards before he became unconscious.

Mr Myers now suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and and has distressing recollections, it was claimed.

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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