Gastric band op mum died from infection

Elaine Keogh

A WOMAN died from blood poisoning after travelling to the UK with her daughter where they both had a gastric band fitted.

Catherine 'Violet' Donaghy (61) and her daughter Orla O'Brien both had the procedure carried out at a Hospital Group clinic in Birmingham last March.

However, just 12 days after the operation, Ms Donaghy died at her home after developing septicemia from an infection -- blood poisoning -- in her stomach.

At an inquest yesterday, Louth coroner Ronan Maguire heard that Ms Donaghy was morbidly obese and had been struggling with her weight for the last 35 years.

The surgeon who carried out the key-hole procedure said it carried just a one in 2,000 risk of death.

Gastric bands, or 'lap bands', are fitted in the stomach in a surgical procedure to treat obesity.

They decrease the size of the stomach so that patients eat less and therefore they lose weight.


Dundalk Coroner's Court heard that on the evening of March 22 last, Ms Donaghy, of Bellingham Green, Castlebellingham, Co Louth, had gone to lie down after becoming unwell.

She was an insulin-dependent diabetic and her blood sugar levels had been rising in the days before her death.

She had also been unable to swallow her medication since the operation.

Her daughter Orla returned home to the house she shared with her mother at around 8.45pm on the day of her death and found her sitting in the ensuite bathroom with her head against the wall.

She called for an ambulance and administered CPR until the paramedics arrived. They spent some 40 minutes trying to revive her but she was pronounced dead by a doctor soon afterwards.

Ms O'Brien described how they had both had gastric bands inserted on the same day but after arriving home Violet had been listless, feeling unwell and was unable to eat properly.

The coroner found Ms Donaghy died from septicemia due to infection at the site of the gastric band device.