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Patient left in agony in A&E delays died later

A 47-year-old man who had complained in writing to a hospital boss about being left for hours in A&E subsequently died, an inquest was told.

Brendan Somers of Kilbreena Estate in Dunboyne, Co Meath had liver disease and was under the care of doctors at St James' Hospital in Dublin for several years.

In the months prior to his death he had gone to the emergency department on at least six occasions suffering from severe abdominal pain but on each occasion had discharged himself.

The inquest heard Mr Somers had written to the hospital CEO complaining about being left "hours and hours in pain" which is why he said he discharged himself.

On April 26 he went to the hospital for a routine appointment at the hepatology clinic but was in such severe pain he was admitted.

Dublin Coroners Court was told he discharged himself a few days later against medical advice but was told his condition was serious and he came back to the hospital for treatment a few hours later.

He discharged himself again and then 24 hours later came back to the hospital with severe pain and deeply jaundiced. He was diagnosed with severe liver disease and possible pancreatic cancer. Mr Somers was given palliative care and died on May 5 at the hospital.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said he was satisfied that Mr Somers had died from decompensated liver failure, cirrhosis of the liver with probable pancreatic cancer.

Mr Somers' sister Lilly said her brother had died in severe pain and they were very unhappy with the level of nursing care.