Claims News

Woman Awarded Compensation for Post-Surgical Bleeding after Caesarean Operation

Posted on: March 4th, 2014

A woman has been awarded compensation for post-surgical bleeding which, she claimed, resulted in a near-death experience.

Honey Larkin from Letterkenny, County Donegal, brought her action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) and consultant gynaecologist Eddie Aboud following the birth of her child by Caesarean section at the Letterkenny General Hospital in January 2008.

Honey alleged that, after her operation, she began to haemorrhage internally and that the signs of her post-surgical bleeding were overlooked by the medical staff. She claimed to have suffered a near-death experience due to losing more than half of her blood volume by the time she was returned to the operating theatre for a second surgical procedure to stop the bleeding.

Claiming that she now suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to the near-death experience, Honey alleged that neither the staff at the hospital nor her gynaecologist checked or recognised she was bleeding after the initial surgery, and that – when her distress was responded to – there was a failure to attach due significance or act appropriately within a reasonable time.

Both the HSE and the gynaecologist denied Honey´s claims, and said that she was treated appropriately in a timely manner once her post-surgical bleeding had been recognised. However, Honey continued with her claim for compensation for post-surgical bleeding, and the case went before Mr Justice Kevin Cross at the High Court.

In the court hearing Judge Cross was told that no bleeding had been apparent when Mr Aboud had finished the Caesarean operation; but, when he was called back to attend to Honey´s post-surgical bleeding, he performed the operation successfully to stop the haemorrhage. Judge Cross said that no blame could be attributed to Mr Aboud and he was dismissed from the action.

However, the judge did find issue with the length of time it had taken for medical staff to identify that a problem existed and respond to Honey´s distress, and he awarded her €25,000 compensation for post-surgical bleeding for the hospital “needlessly” delaying Honey´s revision surgery for more than an hour.

This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.