CARRICK INQUEST HEARS OF SOUTH MONAGHAN WOMAN’S DEATH AFTER HOSPITAL DISCHARGE

2 December 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By PATSY McARDLE

A call has been made at an inquest in Co. Monaghan for all medical records to be “more accessible” for hospital staff while dealing with patients, after the unexpected death of a 67-years-old woman—-within 48 hours after her discharge from Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

An open verdict was returned by the jury at the inquest in Carrickmacross Courthouse into the death of Rose Daly, Lisdoonan, who was found dead in her home on April 14th, following her discharge the previous day from the Co. Louth hospital.

The inquest, conducted by the Coroner for Cavan/Monaghan Dr. Mary Flanagan, Castleblayney, heard that the woman was previously treated in the hospital, after having being re-admitted, but was subsequently discharged, pending admission to St. James’ Hospital in Dublin.

Some medical staff at the Drogheda hospital told the inquest that while it emerged the woman had suffered pneumonia, they had not seen the patient’s records while she was being treated.

The inquest heard the victim had a history of a leg- clot and an internal body tumour, and had experienced severe pain and vomiting.

Garda Sergeant David Forde, Carrickmacross, represented the gardai at the inquest. Counsel for the deceased’s next-of-kin Ms. Joyce Barry B.L. was instructed by Mr. Gerry Jones, solr., Carrickmacross. The HSE legal representative was Ms Mary Hough.

At the outset, Ms Julia McEntee, her carer and relative, gave evidence of the early diagnosis of a clot in the deceased’s leg, for which she received treatment. After the deceased developed a further condition she was taken to the Drogheda hospital where she was treated and kept for a number of days.

The inquest heard that when the deceased suffered further severe pain she was again brought to the hospital but was subsequently discharged, pending an admission to St. James’ Hospital, Dublin.

On the morning of the day after the deceased’s discharge from Our Lady of Lourdes’ Hospital, Drogheda, the witness told the Coroner’s Court of the shock discovery at the deceased’s home, that she was lying dead in her bed.

The inquest heard that the victim had an alarm system, with a button on her arm, if she needed to summon any help but this had not been used.
A further witness, who was a sister of the deceased, gave evidence that the woman, who lived alone, was diagnosed with a leg- clot and an internal tumor.

In reply to jury queries, the inquest was told that relatives felt the woman was not fit to be sent home when she was discharged from the hospital.
Further evidence was given by members of the hospital medical team involved in treating the deceased, who, it emerged, was also treated for pneumonia.

One female member of the medical team, dealing with the deceased described herself as a “two-year trainee” who previously worked in Romania.
Another member of the hospital team said she had not sought or seen any medical records relating to the deceased at the hospital.

All the hospital witnesses extended their sympathy to the deceased’s next-of-kin on her death.

Dr. John Ryan, in a pathology report, said it was difficult to determine the exact cause of death, as there was no evidence of infection or cardiac arrest. He said there was however considerable internal decomposition, which, he believed, was the result of a very high temperature from the level of warmth at the deceased’s home.

Returning an open verdict, the jury added the recommendation that all patient records should be available, and accessed by hospital staff, at all times, and that full use be made of such records by “all relevant parties dealing with patients”.

The Coroner, Dr. Flanagan, was joined by Sergt. Forde, on behalf of the gardai; Mr. John McMenamin, the jury foreman, on behalf of the jury; and the legal representatives present, in tendering their condolences to all relatives on the woman’s death.
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