The family of a woman who died from a heart attack after she was wrongfully discharged fom hospital has won their hospital claim for compensation and are to receive £278,000 in compensation.
The judge in court heard how Mrs Teresa O’Brien had been taken to hospital in September 2004 with a heart complaint.
The consultant at the hospital had instructed that an angiogram be carried out and Mrs O’Brien kept in hospital. A senior house officer also carried out some stress tests and gave the results to a doctor. It was alleged that neither the senior house officer nor the doctor related the stress test results with the direction given by the consultant that Mrs O’Brien should not be discharged from hospital until she had been x-rayed. Consequently, Mrs O’Brien was sent home and sadly died four days later. Her post-mortem revealed evidence of cardiovascular abnormality and it was also discovered later that the results of the stress test had been misread.
The health service conceded liability after Mrs O’Brien’s widower – Paul – sought damages for medical negligence and breach of duty. The judge approved a compensation award of £106,000 for Paul O’Brien, with further amounts of £77,000 for her son Daniel and £85,000 for her step-son Daryl. Lesser sums are also to be awarded to Mrs O’Brien’s two brothers and sister.