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Dead Woman’s Family Awarded €650,000 Childbirth Death Compensation

The family of a woman, Nora Hyland, who died following an emergency caesarean section have been awarded €650,000 personal injury compensation at the High Court.

The family of Ms Hyland took the legal action to seek compensation for nervous shock following the death of their wife and mother. The compensation action was settled for €650,000 in favour of the husband and son of Nora, who passed away at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) soon after having an emergency caesarean section.

Nora Hyland, a 31-year-old originally from Malaysia, died on the operating table at the NMH, Holles Street, Dublin, on February 13, 2012, just three hours after undergoing an emergency caesarean during the delivery of her son Frederick. The hospital refused to accept liability as part of the compensation settlement and denies the allegations.

The Hylands’ legal counsel, Ms Sasha Louise Gayer, spoke in the High Court and said that the Hylands are happy with the compensation settlement but were too upset to be present in court. Ms Gayer informed the court that baby Frederick was delivered successfully. However, not long after this Ms Hyland began to lose a lot of blood.

A subsequent inquest later delivered a verdict of medical misadventure. Ms Hyland had to wait almost 40 minutes for a blood transfusion after a severe bleeding.

In presenting his ruling on the cause of death, Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell ruled that the  cardiac arrest which occurred due to severe post-partum haemorrhage was mainly to blame. However, he unable to confirm that the delay in Mrs Hyland receiving blood was a “definite” cause of her death.

In returning this verdict the inquest was told that a labelling mistake in the laboratory caused a 37-minute delay in Mrs Hyland being given a blood transfusion. Another problem was that no emergency supply units of O-negative, the universal blood type, were maintained in operating theatres at the National Maternity Hospital at the time of the issue. Steps were put in place and a request for blood was processed just after midnight.

Mr Hyland (42) from Station Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin had taken the wrongful death in childbirth legal action against the NMH for nervous shock in relation to the traumatic circumstances at the time the incident.

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