Family secures €650,000 settlement over woman’s ‘shocking’ death in childbirth

Nora Hyland (31) died on operating table at Holles Street after emergency C-section

The husband and son of a woman who died at the National Maternity Hospital hours after undergoing an emergency caesarean section have secured a €650,000 settlement of their action for nervous shock.

The settlement was made without admission of liability.

Nora Hyland (31) a Malaysian woman then living at Charlotte Quay, Dublin 4, died on an operating table at the Holles Street hospital on February 13th, 2012, within three hours of undergoing an emergency C-section to deliver her son Frederick.

An inquest later returned a verdict of medical misadventure in the case of the first time mother who had to wait almost 40 minutes for a blood transfusion after she suffered severe bleeding following an emergency birth.


Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell found the cause of death was a cardiac arrest as a result of severe post-partum haemorrhage.

He said he was not able to say the delay in Mrs Hyland receiving blood was a “definite” risk factor in her death.

The inquest previously heard a labelling error in the laboratory contributed to a 37-minute delay in Mrs Hyland receiving a blood transfusion. No emergency supply units of O-negative, the universal blood type, were kept in operating theatres at the hospital at the time.

In the High Court on Friday, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the €650,000 settlement on behalf of the deceased's husband Stephen Hyland and their son Frederick.

‘Too upset’

Sasha Louise Gayer SC, with Sara Antoniotti BL, for the Hylands, said the settlement was without admission of liability.

The Hylands were satisfied with the settlement but were too upset to attend court, counsel said.

Counsel said Ms Hyland died after delivering her first child Frederick.

The baby was delivered successfully but Ms Hyland began to lose a lot of blood. Steps were taken in theatre and a request for blood was made just after midnight and a blood transfusion took place at 12.45 am, she said.

At the inquest, the hospital indicated new protocols were were later put in place in relation to blood supply stock, counsel said.

Stephen Hyland, (42) Station Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin had sued the hospital for nervous shock over the shocking and traumatic circumstances leading to and surrounding the death of his wife.

Ms Hyland had her baby by caesarean section but went on to suffer a massive post-partum haemorrhage and blood loss.

It was claimed the medical records report that no blood was given to Ms Hyland until 12.40am when she had her first transfusion of the O negative blood. She had several more units of blood but went at 1.45 am into cardiac arrest and efforts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful.

‘Full of life’

Mr Hyland claimed he suffered severe and profound nervous shock , upset and mental distress as a result of what happened.

The claims were denied.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross sympathised with the Hyland family on their loss.

At the time of the inquest in 2014, Mr Hyland paid tribute to his late wife whom he met while travelling in Malaysia. They were together for eight years and married for three-and-a-half before her death.

“Nora was the most gentle, kindest, warm-hearted, beautiful little lady that I ever met. I fell in love with her the very first time that I saw her. She was just full of life, loved nature, loved animals,” he said.

Their son Frederick was “full of health, full of life,” he said.

“He is making me laugh and smile and every time I see him, I see Nora.”