Man died after catheter procedure led to bowel perforation

Coroner returns verdict of medical misadventure in case with ‘three months of torture’

Dominic Fallon, of Kiltrustran, Strokestown, Co Roscommon - who was admitted to Sligo University Hospital the day after a catheterisation  procedure - died there 90 days later, coroner Eamon MacGowan heard.  File photograph: Getty Images

Dominic Fallon, of Kiltrustran, Strokestown, Co Roscommon - who was admitted to Sligo University Hospital the day after a catheterisation procedure - died there 90 days later, coroner Eamon MacGowan heard. File photograph: Getty Images

 

A 79-year-old man died “after three months of torture” following a day procedure to have a catheter inserted at University College Hospital Galway, his wife told an inquest on Monday.

Sligo Coroner’s Court heard the man’s bowel was perforated during the procedure in February 2012.

Dominic Fallon, of Kiltrustran, Strokestown, Co Roscommon - who was admitted to Sligo University Hospital the day after the procedure - died there 90 days later, coroner Eamon MacGowan heard.

Bridie Fallon said that on the morning of the procedure, her husband was asked if doctors could insert a catheter if there was no blockage.

After the procedure, they learned that the catheter had been inserted.

Mr Fallon was told to come back eight weeks later for a check-up, but that night experienced pain and vomiting and was brought by ambulance to Sligo hospital. Ms Fallon said they knew immediately in the hospital in Sligo that his bowel was perforated.

Consultant urological surgeon Killian Walsh said in a statement that Mr Fallon had been referred to him in August 2011 by his GP, after another surgeon, Patrick O’Malley from the Galway clinic, had recommended a supra-pubic catheterisation. Mr Fallon had wanted a second opinion.

Beyond reasonable doubt

Mr Walsh said it was beyond reasonable doubt that the bowel had been perforated during the insertion of the catheter.

Surgery was carried out to repair the bowel and the catheter was secured.

Mr Fallon remained critically ill and on April 18th, 2012, he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Mr MacGowan returned a verdict of medical misadventure.

He found the cause of death was right-sided heart failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease based on perforation of the bowel.