Hospital apologises to family of Carlow man (47) who died while on surgery waiting list

Patrick Doyle had been on a list to have his gallbladder removed when he collapsed six years ago

Lillie Collins (peach jacket) sister of Patrick Doyle who sued the HSE on behalf of her brother Patrick Doyle following his death. Pictured with the extended Doyle family outside the Four Courts Photo: Collins Courts© Collins Courts

Tim HealyIndependent.ie

The family of a 47-year-old man who collapsed and later died while on a hospital waiting list for surgery has settled a High Court action over his care.

Farmer Patrick Doyle had been on a waiting list for several months to have his gallbladder removed when he collapsed six years ago.

On Tuesday, St Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny, gave an unreserved apology to the Doyle family for its “failings in respect of the care of the late Patrick Doyle.”

The apology from the general manager Anne Slattery added: “We deeply regret these failings and acknowledge the sadness, distress and loss these failings have caused you and your family.”

The hospital also offered sincere condolences to the Doyle family.

Mr Doyle from Killeshin, Co Carlow, who had a history of gallstones was, in September 2016, given a primary diagnosis of gallstone pancreatitis and had his case marked as urgent.

He was booked in November 2016 for gallbladder removal and a laparoscopy, but while still on the waiting list in March 2017, he collapsed and was readmitted to St Luke’s with severe upper abdominal pain.

The Doyle family counsel Oonah McCrann SC, instructed by Marian Fogarty of Cantillons Solicitors, said Mr Doyle was “a much-loved brother and uncle”.

Counsel said his condition in the Kilkenny hospital deteriorated and he was transferred to a Dublin hospital. He spent all 90 days in ICU, but died on June 20, 2017.

Liability was admitted in the case, and the settlement, the terms of which are confidential was reached after mediation.

In a statement outside court Mr Doyle’s sister Lillie Collins, who had brought the case against the HSE on behalf of the family, said it was the family’s hope that lessons “will be learnt by the hospital regarding delays in treatment of gallstone pancreatitis in patients particularly given the fatal consequences that can occur.”

She added: “We hope our story will spread awareness on this issue as we do not wish another family to go through the harrowing ordeal that we have suffered following the needless loss of our much loved brother. ”

She said her family had been reassured by the Kilkenny hospital that Mr Doyle’s condition was not serious.

She said at a later stage noticing his further deterioration they requested he be transferred to a Dublin hospital.

The case was brought by Ms Collins of Dalystown, Loughrea, Co Galway, against the HSE over the care her brother received at St Luke’s.

It was claimed that after he was transferred to a Dublin hospital ICU he was noted to have necrotising pancreatitis, septic shock and an acute kidney injury.

He remained in that hospital ICU and was ventilated, intubated and sedated.

On April 22, 2017, Mr Doyle’s haemoglobin was noted to be grossly abnormal and he died two months later on June 20, 2017.

In the proceedings it was claimed there was a failure to follow guidelines for the management of gallstone pancreatitis during his Kilkenny hospital admission in September 2016.

It was also claimed there was a failure to carry out the gallbladder removal in September 2016.

There was also an alleged failure to ensure an urgent booking was made in November 2016 for the operation and an alleged failure to ensure it took place within a month of that date.

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