Augustus Cullen Law acted for the family of the late William Warren where Beaumont Hospital admits liability over his death.
"A Dublin hospital has admitted liability in a High Court action alleging negligence in its treatment of an elderly man who bled to death after an operation.
The family of William Warren (76) alleged he was not properly monitored at Beaumont Hospital after he developed a post operative complication. A “catalogue of sub-standard nursing practices” resulted in his death, they claimed.
Mr Warren, a father of seven of Bóthar Ribh, Artane, Dublin, died on August 5th, 2005 from heart failure after experiencing a massive abdominal haemorrhage following an angioplasty procedure on August 4th.
An action brought on behalf of his four daughters, three sons and 12 grandchildren against the hospital alleging negligence and breach of duty was settled at the High Court yesterday.
Mr Justice Vivian Lavan was told the hospital had admitted liability in the case and was consenting to judgment for €40,000 plus costs. The judge approved the award and extended his sympathy to Mr Warren’s family. Mr Warren’s wife Bridget died in 2007.
The family had alleged grossly substandard nursing care at the hospital and alleged failure to monitor Mr Warren’s condition adequately and to alert the cardiac team of changes in his condition.
It was also alleged the hospital had failed to take into account the fact that Mr Warren had suffered a complication during the angioplasty procedure (which involves the mechanical widening of a blood vessel that has narrowed).
Outlining the claim, Denis McCullough SC, for the family, said Mr Warren was admitted to hospital on August 4th, 2005 and initially underwent an angiogram, involving taking an image of the blood vessels, followed by the angioplasty.
During that procedure, an artery in Mr Warren’s abdomen was ruptured, causing him to bleed internally and he was admitted to the hospital’s coronary care unit, counsel said.
The action was based on the hospital’s failure to properly deal with or to monitor the effects of the ruptured artery, counsel said.
The family alleged the hospital failed to conduct a careful examination of the puncture site or to carry out an adequate assessment to determine the size and extent of the internal bleeding.
Mr Warren’s pulse and temperature readings were not properly documented or noted, they claimed.
It was also claimed his low blood pressure readings were ignored and his breathing was not monitored or properly recorded. There was also a failure to have any contact with the hospital cardiac team on the night of August 4th about Mr Warren’s condition, it was alleged.
It was further claimed there was failure to ensure proper and effective communication of information about Mr Warren’s condition between those who were treating him.
The family also claimed nursing duties relating to monitoring Mr Warren’s condition after 8pm on the night of August 4th were abrogated, save for one individual referred to as the central desk duty nurse.
It was claimed no effective communication was in place between that nurse and others on the hospital’s Coronary Care Unit or cardiac team until a stage where it was too late to prevent Mr Warren’s death. He died on August 5th.
Following yesterday’s ruling, Mr Warren’s family said in a statement there was “a catalogue of substandard nursing practice” observed by many experts who had examined the case.
Stating the action “was never about the money”, the family said they had sued Beaumont Hospital “to ensure that best practice will be put in place so that this will not happen again”.
“We believe that staffing and cuts are a major obstacle to best practice,” they said.
“We continue to be devastated by the loss of our beloved father in this way and we hope that by our action someone else’s life will be saved.
“That’s the way he would have wanted it. We love you Dad.”
At the completion of the case the family thanked the practice and all the Legal team for all of their help during the currency of the case.
30 April 2009