Health board sued over operation


A WOMAN who claims she suffered a serious bowel complication after exploratory surgery in Sligo General Hospital in 1991 is suing the North Western Health Board in the High Court for medical negligence.

Ms Patricia Smith (31), Church View, Ballyhaise, Co Cavan, was admitted to Sligo General Hospital with abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting in January 1991.

She alleges a decision was made to perform a lower midline laparotomy, a cutting of the abdominal wall, after she was examined. Contrary to that decision, an unnecessarily extensive surgical incision was made in her abdomen measuring 10 inches. She also claims the operation resulted in the development of an intestinal obstruction and a gangrenous bowel which required emergency surgery in May 1992.

The North Western Health Board denies a decision was made to perform a lower midline laparotomy, that an unnecessary extensive surgical incision was made or that the incision measured 10 inches.

Ms Smith says she feels unwell and suffers from sudden central abdominal pain two or three times a week.

She believes she did not get an explanation of why the operation was carried out, She has had to undergo continuing investigation, consultations and operations for abdominal pain.

The hearing, before Mr Justice Moriarty, continues.