Hospital apologises for ‘shortcomings’ as case over surgery settled

Anne O’Sullivan said to have ongoing health issues due to issues during tube tying procedure

The Health Service Executive (HSE) and Sligo University Hospital have apologised in the High Court for ‘shortcomings in care’ when a woman went into the hospital for keyhole surgery. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The Health Service Executive (HSE) and Sligo University Hospital have apologised in the High Court for ‘shortcomings in care’ when a woman went into the hospital for keyhole surgery. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

The Health Service Executive (HSE) and Sligo University Hospital have apologised in the High Court for “shortcomings in care” when a woman went into the hospital for keyhole surgery.

Anne O’Sullivan (43), a mother of five, sued the HSE over the sterilisation surgery after she suffered two haemorrhages and later had to have further operations and needed eight units of blood to replace her blood loss. It was claimed that she has ongoing health issues as a result.

Doireann O’Mahony BL, instructed by Niall Tansey solicitor, for Ms O’Sullivan, told the court on Friday that the case had been settled and could be struck out. The terms of settlement are confidential and counsel said the apology was being read in court as part of it.

The letter of apology, on behalf of the HSE and Sligo University Hospital from hospital manager Gráinne McCann, said: “I would like to apologise to you for the shortcomings in care rendered to you during your hospitalisation in Sligo University Hospital.

“We also regret any distress that may have been caused to you following this,” the letter stated. “I would like to take the opportunity to wish you well for the future.”

Haemorrhage

Ms O’Sullivan, of Croagh, Dromore West, Co Sligo, was referred to the hospital for a tube tying procedure in November 2015. It was claimed, in preparing for the application of the clips on to the fallopian tubes, Ms O’Sullivan was caused to haemorrhage .

It was claimed there was a failure to notice this at the time and she was returned to the operating theatre two hours later in severe pain. The cause of the bleeding was identified and the bleeding arrested.

A drain was inserted but, it was claimed, the needle carrying the drain was put through the same blood vessel and further haemorrhage occurred.

Ms O’Sullivan, it was alleged, had two unnecessary secondary operative procedures following the sterilisation and eight units of blood were required to replace the majority of her blood loss. She was on a ventilator in the intensive care unit overnight and was not discharged home until eight days later.

It was claimed that she endured needless pain and suffering and is devastated by what happened.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey noted the settlement.