Woman Awarded Compensation for Surgical Negligence Following Childbirth

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A woman has received €117,000 in compensation for surgical negligence which resulting in her contracting an infection after giving birth to her child.

Sarah Daly of Rathfarnham in Dublin gave birth to her child at the Mount Carmel Hospital on April 22nd 2013. The despite the success of the operation, Sarah returned to the hospital complaining of extreme pain in her lower abdomen three days later.

Despite being aware that Sarah having recently given birth, medical staff at the Mount Carmel Hospital neglected to conduct an internal investigation until April 28th. The investigation revealed the presence of a retained swab that had swollen to the “size of a plum” in her abdomen.

The swab left inside of Sarah was removed. Her doctors failed to prescribe her with appropriate antibiotics, and as a result Sarah developed an infection. After she recovered, Sarah sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a swab left inside during childbirth against her consultant doctor Valerie Donnelly and attending physician Charles Julian Dockeray.

The two medical professionals acknowledged liability for the Sarah´s injuries, but a settlement of compensation for a swab left inside during childbirth could not be agreed. Consequently, the case went to the High Court for the assessment of damages, where it was heard by Mr Justice Kevin Cross.

At the High Court, Judge Cross awarded Sarah €117,000 compensation for a swab left inside during childbirth. The judge commented he believed the award to be “fair and reasonable” because what ought to have been a very joyous occasion for Sarah had become something that will live with her for the rest of her life.

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