Friday 23 February 2018

€90,000 for family of student who died in A&E

Tim Healy

THE mother of a 19-year old student who died from a clot to his lung over eight hours after he had been admitted to a hospital A&E has settled her action for damages against the HSE for €90,000.

Ayobamidele (Ayo) Akanji Murphy, a second year computer engineering student, was admitted to Naas General in  Kildare  with chest pains and shortness of breath on February 2, 2010 but was dead by the next morning, the High Court heard.  The settlement was without admission of liability.

John O'Mahony SC, or Ayo's mother Victoria, said had the case gone ahead, medical experts would say the blood clot blockage should have been diagnosed and medical staff should have picked up on the signals.

The experts would say if there had been a  heart test carried out, and the administration of anti -coagulants such as heparin, the likelihood of saving the young man's life was between 82 to 97 per cent.

After ruling the settlement Ms Justice Mary Irvine, who had earlier said the case was very distressing, was in tears.

Ayo’s mother, Victoria Akanji, Liffey Way, Castlefen, Sallins, Co Kildare, had sued the HSE for alleged negligence and breach duty.

It was claimed there was a failure to diagnose in a timely manner and appropriately treat his pulmonary thromboembolism and that an echocardiography test was not conducted when it should have been.

The test, it was claimed would have provided the diagnosis which would in turn have enabled the hospital medical staff to take the appropriate steps which may have prevented the young man's death.

Mrs Adjani, it was claimed, suffered psychiatric injuries caused by the shock of witnessing the death of her son. It was further claimed she received no comfort or condolences from Naas General Hospital and on her request her GP wrote a letter to the hospital requesting a meeting, but no response was received.

The HSE had denied the claims.

Ms Justice Irvine told Mrs Akanji she was very sorry but the court had to go though the details of her death's son and apologised for any upset it caused.

She sympathised with the weeping mother and said the mother witnessing attempts to resuscitate her son when she was called back to the hospital must have been very traumatic for her.

The judge said no money could compensate Mrs Akanji for the unexpected death of her son but she hoped that as the years go by the mother's distress will lessen.”

In a statement outside court on behalf of Mrs Akanji, her solicitor Ann Nowlan said Ayo died as a result of a clot to his lung.

At the time of his tragic death, he was studying computer engineering in Crumlin, the solicitor said.

“He was a young man with a very bright future. He was actively involved with his community and with his church, volunteering on a weekend basis to help with youth and the Kildare services. His unexpected death in February 2010 continues to cause active distress to the family.”

She said the family are still struggling to come to terms with Ayo’s tragic death, but they continue to receive tremendous support from their family, their friends and in particular their church.

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