€51,000 settlement agreed by family of woman who died after hospital trolley fall
A review of care for elderly people in emergency departments has been called for by the family of an 82 year old woman who died after falling from a hospital trolley.
The lady spent a night on a trolley in St Vincent’s Hospital Emergency Department in August 2013.
She was receiving treatment for facial injuries suffered as a result of a fall in the nursing home she was residing in.
The High Court were informed that the side bars of the trolley were left down and that the lady was left unattended, despite it being known that there was a risk of her falling.
Following the fall from the trolley, the lady suffered a brain haemorrhage and died a number of days later.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved a settlement of €51,000 in the case taken by the family against the hospital. The court was informed that no defence had been entered in the case.
The daughter of the lady said afterwards that she hoped that what happened to her mother would not happen to any other family. She believed that understaffing and overcrowding in the emergency department led to her mother’s death.
An apology was received from the hospital following an inquest into the lady’s death. The inquest returned a verdict of medical misadventure.
The solicitor representing the family concluded with this statement:
“ This death manifests all that is wrong with our A & E services. The family hope the tragic nature of the incident will spark an appetite for change. Our vulnerable are not being protected. Reform needs to happen now. Enough is enough.”