Kilkenny hospital apologises to family of 75-year-old who fell from hospital bed

St Luke’s and HSE give unreserved apology over failings in care of Nicholas Ivory

 Linda McCormack and Karen Ivory pictured leaving the Four Courts. Photograph: Collins Courts

Linda McCormack and Karen Ivory pictured leaving the Four Courts. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A hospital has apologised at the High Court to the family of a 75-year-old man who died a month after falling out of his hospital bed.

St Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny, and the HSE gave an unreserved apology for failings in care afforded to Nicholas Ivory at the hospital before his death on April 15th, 2014.

The apology was part of a confidential settlement of an action by Mr Ivory’s family against the HSE over his death.

Mr Ivory, of Stephen’s Street, Kilkenny, was admitted to the hospital after a fall at his home on March 14th, 2014.

He fell from his hospital bed that same day and had a heart attack that evening.

On April 2nd, he was diagnosed as having suffered a displaced fracture to vertebrae in his neck.

The statement from St Luke’s hospital and the HSE said they would like to express an unreserved apology for the failings in care afforded to Mr Ivory at St Luke’s hospital prior to his death on April 15th, 2014.

“We extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family and understand that this apology cannot negate the adverse effect the loss of your father has had on your lives and we are truly sorry for same,” it said.

Image of the late Nicholas Ivory. Photograph: Collins Courts
Image of the late Nicholas Ivory. Photograph: Collins Courts

In a statement outside court, the family welcomed the end of what they called a “long and arduous journey” in trying to seek answers and said the treatment received by their father at St Luke’s hospital “can never be forgotten or forgiven”.

They said they had been left with no choice but to go through a legal battle. “We hope our father now rests in peace while we try to rebuild our lives without him,” the statement added.

The case was taken by Mr Ivory’s daughters, Linda McCormack, of Piltown, Co Kilkenny, and Karen Ivory, of Carrickpherish, Gracedieu, Waterford.

‘Inadequate supervision’

It was claimed Mr Ivory was put in a bed without adequate supervision when it ought to have been known he was confused, disoriented and categorised as a falls risk.

No X-rays or scans of Mr Ivory’s neck were carried out after the fall, it was alleged.

It was not until April 2nd, 2014, that Mr Ivory was diagnosed as having a displaced fracture of two vertebrae in his neck region.

Throughout the time Mr Ivory was suffering from the severe and undiagnosed fracture he was subjected to movements and hospital transfers, it was claimed.

On April 10th, Mr Ivory was transferred to a Dublin hospital, and specialists advised his spinal cord was completely transected with no likelihood of recovery. He died five days later.