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Widow gets €520,000 payout after fatal mouth gel reaction

A FATHER of two bled to death after a mouth gel he was given in a pharmacy reacted with his heart medication.

Donal Donie Kelleher's widow Ann settled her High Court action against the pharmacy for €520,000 over his death.

Mr Kelleher's son, Donal Jnr, told the Irish Independent the tragedy nine years ago had left the family devastated.

"He was in good health and we just couldn't believe what happened," he said.

Mr Kelleher, who runs his own construction business, said it had been "a very tough time" for his mother and the family was relieved court proceedings were at an end.

He said his parents had been "inseparable".

Mr Kelleher (63) bled to death after the gel dispensed for a mouth infection reacted with the Warfarin medication he was taking for his heart condition.

An inquest had ruled Mr Kelleher died from a cerebral hemorrhage due to coagulopathy caused by drug interaction and by reason of medical misadventure.

Mrs Kelleher of Deerpark, Carrignashinny, Mogeely, Co Cork, had sued pharmacist Joseph Kelly trading as Castle Pharmacy, Castelmartyr, Co Cork.

Mr Kelleher had an under-active thyroid gland and atrial fibrillation of the heart. He was prescribed Thyroxine for the thyroid problem and Warfarin for his heart condition.

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In September 2003, Mr Kelleher started to complain of soreness in his mouth and his wife attended Castle Pharmacy on September 13 2003.

She described her husband's symptoms to the pharmacist and informed him of the prescription medication which he was taking.

Daktarin oral Miconazole gel was dispensed. Mr Kelleher used the gel as instructed but an inter-reaction then took place which resulted in him developing a spontaneous inter-cerebral hemorrhage.

Mrs Kelleher suffered severe mental distress, personal injuries loss and damages as a result.


The pharmacy, it was claimed, failed to properly advise Mrs Kelleher of the potential inter-reaction between Daktarin oral Miconazole gel and Warfarin and failed to refer her to a doctor.

Mrs Kelleher claimed she suffered flashbacks and does not want to take prescribed medication and is taking herbal remedies to help her sleep.

The couple had been married 37 years at the time of Mr Kelleher's death and it was claimed Mrs Kelleher's life revolved around him.

She also depended on him for her social life.

Mrs Kelleher was unwell didn't attend the hearing in the High Court in Dublin yesterday.

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