The family of a woman who died from organ failure after undergoing a hernia operation have made a claim for wrongful death due to medical misadventure.
On 13th July 2013, Susan McGee (52) – a mother of two from Rush in County Dublin – went to the Hermitage Medical Clinic in Dublin for what was supposed to be a routine hernia operation. The operation initially appeared to be successful, and Susan was discharged from the Hermitage three days later on 16th July to be cared for by her daughter.
The following day (17th July), Susan complained of having an abdominal pain and feeling unwell. Her daughter took her back to the Hermitage, where Susan was readmitted for observation. Over the weekend of 20th and 21st July, Susan´s condition deteriorated and on 22nd July a CT scan revealed a mass in her small bowel.
Susan underwent surgery the same day to have the obstruction removed, but her health continued to deteriorate. Susan was transferred to the intensive care department of the Beaumont Hospital on 23rd July, but she died the following day from multiple organ failure caused by sepsis – the sepsis having been triggered by a C.difficle infection.
The inquest into Susan´s death was eventually held in June 2015. Dublin City Coroner´s Court heard that several errors had been made in Susan´s care, including a failure to report brown faecal fluid draining from Susan´s nasogastric tube and a failure to record Susan´s vital signs between 8:00am and 6:00pm on Sunday 21st July – three days before she died.
The inquest also heard that over the weekend of 20th and 21st July only one resident medical officer was on duty – Dr Lachman Pahwani. Dr Pahwani testified that he had tried to spend as much time with Susan as possible – aware that she was in a poorly condition – but Susan was one of 81 patients that he had responsibility for at the medical facility at the time.
Following the inquest, Susan´s family sought legal advice and made a claim for wrongful death due to medical misadventure – the verdict that the inquest had delivered. A spokesperson for the family said that a summons has now been issued and served on the Hermitage Medical Clinic.