Cavan General Hospital has apologized to the family of a 22-year-old man who died after visiting the emergency room three times in five days.
The Supreme Court heard that John Smith developed sepsis, which could have been treated too late by the time it was diagnosed, reports RTE.
He died on 31 August 2019 of multiple organ failure.
Mr Smith was released from hospital twice despite protesting that he had to be there.
His family settled a lawsuit today in the Supreme Court and a letter of apology was read to the court.
The court was told he first went to the emergency room on August 20, 2019 after vomiting at home.
He was released to go home the same day, but continued to feel ill.
He returned to hospital two days later and the doctors found him pale and visibly ill, reports RTE.
He was admitted to a ward and examined by surgical and medical staff and given blood tests and a CT scan.
He was diagnosed with a bacterial infection and put on IV fluids and sent home the next day, despite having markers of inflammation and a rapid heart rate.
The next day, August 24, he was hospitalized again with abdominal pain and fever, among other symptoms.
He was diagnosed with sepsis and was later transferred to another hospital but died a week later.
The court heard that Mr Smith, who suffered from cerebral palsy, and his family had objected to his release from hospital.
Senior Counsel Bruce Antoniotti said the family was concerned about the “absolute non communication of doctors and nurses. They would not listen and they refused to accept that John was so ill he could not be discharged,” Mr Antoniotti said, reports RTE.
In a letter of apology read to the court, Cavan General Hospital said it wanted to “sincerest apologies to your family and to your extended family following the tragic death of your dear son John and acknowledge the failings on behalf of the hospital”, reports RTE.
John’s father, Sean Smith, was from Stragella, Co. Cavan, is suing the HSE for care of his son.
In this case liability is accepted.
Mr Justice Paul Coffey noted the settlement, details of which have not been disclosed, and said it was a very tragic case.
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