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Hospital Treatment Failings lead to Family of Deceased Man Being Awarded €165,000

A settlement of €165,000 hospital negligence compensation has been approved at the High Court for the family of a 92-year-old man who died in hospital, having received treatment for injuries sustained in a fall at his home in Sword, Co Dublin.

After falling at his family home on July 13, 2015 Mr Dillon was taken to Beaumont Hospital A&E in Dublin for medical treatment. Upon arrival it was noticed that he had a raised white cell count and a raised CRP count, all of which, counsel said, were “indicators of infection overload”.

Some time later Mr Dillon was allowed to return home. However he continued to suffer with severe pain and three days later he was taken back to the hospital where “a substandard examination” was carried out. Mr Dillon was transferred to a rehabilitation step-down facility where it was noticed that Mr Dillon had pressure sores which, according to counsel, “have no place in modern medicine”.

Mr Dillon was taken back to Beaumont hospital on July 27, 2015, and he was severely septic and suffered multi-organ failure prior to dying on July 31. Mr Dillon was a very active man and also tended to his son who had special needs, counsel said. Ann Walsh, Mr Dillon’s daughter, expressed the her family’s unhappiness with the attention given to her fathers, telling Mr Justice Garrett Simons: “The way daddy was treated, no old-age pensioner should be treated like that.” She said that her father had been “put to the side”.

Mr Justice Simons commended the testimony of Ms Walsh daughter had given elegant testimony about her late father. Doireann O’Mahony BL advised the judge that Mr Dillon was a healthy and active man and is a massive loss to his family and community in Swords, Co Dublin.

Beaumont Hospital had admitted a breach of duty in the case in relation to the delay in formulating an accurate diagnosis of Mr Dillon’s condition and his transfer to the rehabilitation hospital. There were, however, other matters at issue in the legal action.

Ann Walsh, of Seatown Villas, Swords, Co Dublin, and her brother Gerard Dillon, of Seatown Terrace, Swords, had taken the legal action against the Beaumont Hospital in relation to the care provided to their father at the hospital during 2015. It was claimed there was a failure to provide the standard of treatment, competence, judgment, diligence and skill which it was reasonable to expect. In addition to this it was claimed Mr Dillon was in a chair in the hospital A&E for a long duration of time which, it was alleged contributed to the deterioration of his condition. It was also alleged a diagnosis of a spine fracture was made which was not identified on a subsequent X-ray.

Speaking outside court following the settlement approval, the family’s solicitor, Niall Tansey, said the settlement is the end of a long and difficult time for the Dillon family. He said Mr Dillon was a huge figure in the Swords community and in the Dillon family.

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