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Tuesday 23 January 2018

Family distraught over bloodied body, inquest told

Anne-Marie Walsh and Georgina O'Halloran

A DISTRAUGHT family has urged a hospital to explain why they were shown their dead father's body covered in blood following surgery.

Grandfather-of-four James Deans (53) died suddenly at Tallaght Hospital last Christmas Eve after surgery to unblock an artery in his neck.

His daughter Leanne said the first time she and her sister Lisa were permitted to see their father's remains on the night of his death, his blood was leaking onto his bed.

Her sister-in-law Martina said it was so horrific that she asked nurses to pull a sheet over Mr Deans' face.

Last night, his tearful widow Louise told the Irish Independent the way her husband's body was presented to her family was just one of many issues relating to his treatment she wanted the hospital to explain.

She said Professor Sean Tierney, a surgeon who gave evidence at an inquest into Mr Deans' death at Dublin County Coroner's Court yesterday, had agreed to meet her to discuss her concerns.

The inquest heard the hospital had carried out an investigation into the circumstances in which Mr Deans' family was brought to see his remains.

Giving evidence, Professor Tierney acknowledged that the family was distressed about this.

"They were unsatisfactory circumstances," said Professor Tierney, who apologised to the family of Mr Deans, a security man, for what happened.

Professor Tierney, who carried out the surgery on December 24, told coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty the hospital would be in touch with the Deans family to arrange to meet them.

He said the chief executive of the hospital would deal with the family's concerns "as a priority."

Mr Deans, a smoker, who had a history of heart disease, was admitted to Tallaght Hospital on December 22 last year after suffering a stroke at home.

The father-of-four of Foxdene Avenue, Lucan, Co Dublin, was stable following the operation until 5.05pm, when he became agitated and unwell.

He was pronounced dead at 6.16pm, following prolonged resuscitation.

A post-mortem found he had suffered multiple previous heart attacks.

The coroner recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

Irish Independent

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