Thursday 22 August 2019

Sister calls for cardiac services after brother died

Catherine Power with a photo of her brother Tom. Picture: Tom Burke
Catherine Power with a photo of her brother Tom. Picture: Tom Burke

A woman whose brother died while being transferred for a heart procedure has written to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, warning him that people will continue to lose their lives until the south-east gets round-the-clock cardiac services.

Catherine Power and her family were left devastated when her brother Tom (40) died en route from University Hospital Waterford (UHW) to Cork for emergency treatment.

An inquest last month returned a verdict of death by natural causes. However, it also issued a recommendation that Health Minister Simon Harris should review resuscitation drug packs provided in ambulances.

The inquest heard that the ambulance transferring Mr Power ran out of special adrenalin doses.

Despite the south-east region having a catchment of 500,000, the UHW cath lab only operates from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Major cardiac surgeries also cannot be undertaken in Waterford, so patients have to be transferred to Dublin, Cork or Galway.

Ms Power said she does not want any other family to suffer their loss, adding: "How many people must die before the Government decides on providing 24/7 emergency cardiac services in UHW?"

She has now written to Mr Varadkar, asking when a decision will be made on upgrading cardiac services in the south-east.

Next Monday will mark one year since Mr Power's death and a vigil is being planned.

Irish Independent

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