€690,000 for family over death of mother

Thu, Nov 29, 2012, 00:00

The family of a young mother who died seven months after falling into a coma following a heart attack after an emergency Caesarean section in a Dublin maternity hospital have secured €690,000 under a settlement of their High Court action.

It was alleged the National Maternity Hospital had failed to address the risks of septicaemia, infection and other issues related to an intravenous insulin line for Jennifer Crean’s insulin-dependent diabetes. It was also claimed the administration of a general anaesthetic was inappropriate in the circumstances of her case.

Ms Crean (35), a mother of two from Ashford, Co Wicklow, died on February 10th, 2009, eight months after she had a heart attack while her second child, Daniel, was being delivered by Caesarean section at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street.

Yesterday Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill said he had no hesitation in approving the settlement of €690,000 for Ms Crean’s husband and her sons Adam (11) and Daniel (4) .

Under a settlement of a separate action, Adam Crean, who was seven when his mother died, secured €40,000 for nervous shock.

Bruce Antoniotti SC, for the child, said Adam missed his mother and has been suffering from grief.

Damages

In the action on behalf of himself and his children, Francis Crean, Rosanna Close, Ashford, Co Wicklow, sued the hospital over the death of his wife. Liability was not an issue and the case was before the court for assessment of damages only.

It was claimed Ms Crean was a diabetic with a longstanding history of insulin-dependent diabetes who was on a long-term intravenous insulin infusion via a Hickman line. During the pregnancy, the line was regularly infected and had to be changed, it was claimed.

On June 30th, 2008, when 35 weeks pregnant, Ms Crean was admitted to the National Maternity Hospital with severe abdominal pain and sweating. By the following day, a diagnosis was made that the likely source of the sepsis was the Hickman line and she was prescribed antibiotics.

On July 2nd, it was decided to perform an emergency Caesarean but, after receiving a general anaesthetic, Ms Crean had a severe cardiac arrest. She was resuscitated and transferred to Beaumont Hospital.