Friday 6 December 2019

Beaumont Hospital apologises to family of woman for 'deficiencies in care' that led to her death

Beaumont Hospital
Beaumont Hospital

Tim Healy

BEAUMONT Hospital has apologised to the family of a 68- year old woman for “deficiencies in care” that led to her untimely death.

Kathleen Conroy (68) had flown from the UK to visit her daughter in Dublin when she was referred to Beaumont Hospital by a GP as she was complaining of a pain in her leg.

The pensioner, whose family has a history of deep vein thrombosis, it was claimed was discharged from the hospital on a number of occasions between March 19 2014 and March 28 2014.

She died of a heart attack on March 28 at Beaumont Hospital while awaiting transfer to intensive care.

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In the apology signed by Beaumont CEO Ian Carter which was read to the High Court, the hospital said it wishes to “apologise sincerely for the deficiencies in care that led to the untimely death“ of Ms Conroy.

It added: “I wish to further apologise for the distress experienced by the family as a result of the loss of your mother and the miscommunication that occurred at this difficult time for your family.”

The hospital also extended deepest condolences on behalf of the Beaumont Hospital staff to Ms Conroy’s family.

Ms Conroy’s daughter Maria Kleanthous, of Newbrook Avenue, Donaghmede, Dublin and her two sons Andrew and George Kleanthous, with addresses in the UK, had sued for nervous shock over the untimely death of their mother at Beaumont Hospital on March 28 2014.

The details of the settlement are confidential.

Outside court Ms Conroy’s son George said it had been a six years battle for his family to get justice for his mother.

“The hardest thing for all of us we felt her death was avoidable and that has been pretty difficult to live with. We are pleased today to have received the apology and brought the matter to a conclusion. Hopefully we can now move on from this experience,” he added.

Ms Conroy, who was over in Dublin for a visit in advance of moving permanently here, Had attended the Beaumont Hospital A&E complaining of pain in her leg calf. She was examined and advised to take aspirin and stop smoking it was claimed and she returned the next day for an ultrasound of her leg.

The next day no evidence was found of lower extremity deep vein thrombosis and she was discharged.

It is claimed on March 22 and 23, she continued to feel unwell and had severe pain and could not walk. She returned to the hospital and was treated with anti coagulants and antibiotics and asked to return the next day.

On March 24 no evidence of venous thrombosis was uncovered and it is claimed she was discharged despite being unable to walk. She returned to the hospital on March 28 and she was in extreme pain and treated with morphine.

Her right foot was discoloured and Ms Conroy was noted to be suffering from a rapid heart rate.

A blockage of the arteries in her right leg was diagnosed and and an echocardiogram carried out but it was claimed the result was not communicated to the vascular surgical team. A surgical procedure was carried out but it is claimed it was agreed Ms Conroy would be transferred to theatre to stitch the artery site. No theatre was available and Ms Conroy was to be transferred to intensive care. While awaiting transfer, Ms Conroy suffered a heart attack and died.

There was it was further claimed a failure to ensure there was a proper management structure in operation in the hospital to ensure the timely provision of a high observation bed in a vascular ward and to ensure at all material times appropriate expert assistance was immediately available. Liability was admitted in the case.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he hoped that the apology from the hospital was some consolation to the family.

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