'We have been tormented every day': Family settle case over dad's death in A&E

By Ann O'Loughlin

The family of an 82-year-old man who died at Mayo General Hospital a few days after being admitted to A&E after a road traffic accident has settled a High Court action for €55,000.

It was claimed that Grandfather Darby King, who was on anti-coagulation medicine, was only given blood clotting medication 10 hours after his A&E admission.

The jury at the inquest three years ago into the death of Mr Darby King of Derrynalecka, Castlebar, at Mayo General Hospital returned a verdict of medical misadventure.

Darby King sustained minor injuries in a traffic collision on April 24, 2014 but his condition deteriorated in the days that followed and he died in hospital three days later.

The inquest into his death heard an "unacceptable delay" in administering blood-clotting medication seriously compromised his chances of survival.

In the High Court today, Mr Justice Robert Eager approved a settlement of €55,000 in the case.

Caroline Murnane, of Claremorris, Co. Mayo, with her brother, John King, holds a photo of her deceased father Darby King outside court after the case. Pic: COURTPIX

Mr King's daughter Caroline Murnane on behalf of the King family said outside court they are very relieved to finally have closure on this case.

"There are no words to describe what the past four years has done to us. We were traumatised by Dad's death and we have spent the last four years trying to get justice for him and to give him a voice," Ms Murnane said.

She added: "We have been tormented every day by the events that unfolded the day Dad was admitted to the hospital. However, the verdict received from Dad's inquest together with the court ruling will now allow us to move forward."

Caroline Murnane, Clogher, Claremorris, Co Mayo and her brother John King, Drummin, Castlebar, Co Mayo had sued the HSE over the death of their 82-year-old father Darby King who died at Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co Mayo on April 27, 2014.

It was claimed Mr Darby King was involved in a road traffic accident on April 24, 2014 and brought by ambulance to the emergency department of Mayo General Hospital. He arrived there at about 12.30pm and had suffered cuts to the face, nose and head and was confused. Mr King was noted to be on a number of medications including the blood thinner Warfarin. He was transferred to the acute medical assessment at about 3pm and his family informed the staff he was out of sorts and distressed and had a very bad headache. He was transferred back to the emergency department for a CT scan which he had before 5pm.

The scan showed bleeding in the brain, Beaumont Hospital was contacted and there was advice there was no role for surgical intervention and Mr King should be sent for an MRI in six weeks.

After 9pm, it is claimed Beaumont Hospital was again contacted and told Mr King had a persistent headache and no blood clotting medication had been administered. Beaumont Hospital it is claimed advised that the blood clotting medication a Prothrombin Complex Concenrrate be administered immediately.

Mr King's condition deteriorated that night and he was admitted to the intensive care unit. Mr King was complaining of loss of vision and he could not form sentences correctly. It is claimed at 22.45 a blood clotting medication was administered. A CT scan was carried out after midnight which showed a significant extension of the subdural brain haemorrhage. It is claimed that the advice was that the prognosis was poor and by the early hours of April 25, Mr King was a candidate for palliative care.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to recognise a traumatic head injury and to administer blood clotting medication in a timely manner. There was also, it was claimed, an alleged failure to follow protocol for the management of bleeding and excessive anticoagulation in patients on warfarin.

It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to follow the advice of Beaumont Hospital to administer the blood clotting medication as a matter of urgency.

The claims were denied.

KEYWORDS: Court

 

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