The family of an 82-year-old man who died at Mayo General Hospital three days after he was admitted to its accident and emergency department following a road traffic accident has settled a High Court action for €55,000.
It was claimed Darby King, who was on anti-coagulation medicine, was only given blood clotting medication 10 hours after his emergency department admission.
The jury at the inquest three years ago into the death of Mr King, of Derrynalecka, Castlebar, at Mayo General Hospital returned a verdict of medical misadventure.
Mr King sustained minor injuries in a traffic collision on April 24th 2014 but his condition deteriorated in the days that followed and he died in hospital three days later.
The inquest was told an “unacceptable delay” in administering blood-clotting medication seriously compromised his chances of survival.
In the High Court on Monday, Mr Justice Robert Eager approved a settlement of €55,000 in the case.
Mr King's daughter Caroline Murnane, on behalf of the family, said outside court they were very relieved to finally have closure on this case.
“There are no words to describe what the past four years has done to us. We were traumatised by Dad’s death and we have spent the last four years trying to get justice for him and to give him a voice,” Ms Murnane said.
“We have been tormented every day by the events that unfolded the day Dad was admitted to the hospital. However, the verdict received from Dad’s inquest, together with the court ruling, will now allow us to move forward.”
Ms Murnane, Clogher, Claremorris, and her brother John King, Drummin, Castlebar, had sued the HSE over the death of Mr King who died at Mayo General Hospital , Castlebar on April 27th, 2014.
Bleeding in the brain
It was claimed Mr King was involved in a road traffic accident on April 24th 2014 and brought by ambulance at about 12.30pm to the emergency department of the hospital.
He had suffered cuts to the face, nose and head and was confused.
He was noted to be on a number of medications including the blood thinner, warfarin.
He was transferred for acute medical assessment at about 3pm and his family told staff he was out of sorts and distressed and had a very bad headache. He was transferred back to the emergency department for a CT scan which he had before 5pm.
The scan showed bleeding in the brain and Beaumont Hospital was contacted and there was advice there was no role for surgical intervention and he should be sent for an MRI in six weeks, it was claimed.
Beaumont Hospital, it was claimed, was again contacted after 9pm and was told Mr King had a persistent headache and no blood clotting medication had been administered. It was claimed Beaumont advised the blood clotting medication, a Prothrombin Complex Concentrate, be administered immediately.
Mr King’s condition deteriorated that night and he was admitted to the intensive care unit complaining of loss of vision and not forming sentences correctly. It was claimed, at 10.45pm, a blood clotting medication was administered. A CT scan was carried out after midnight which showed a significant extension of the subdural brain haemorrhage.
It was claimed the advice was the prognosis was poor and by the early hours of April 25th, Mr King was a candidate for palliative care.
It was claimed there was failure to recognise a traumatic head injury, to administer blood clotting medication in a timely manner and to follow protocol for the management of bleeding and excessive anti-coagulation in patients on warfarin.
It was further claimed there was failure to follow the advice of Beaumont Hospital to administer the blood clotting medication as a matter of urgency.
The claims were denied.