HSE offers apology for McCabe death

Wednesday 13 April 2011 22.10
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital - Tanya McCabe died in March 2007
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital - Tanya McCabe died in March 2007

The Health Service Executive has apologised to the family of a Garda Sergeant who died after giving birth to twins at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Tanya McCabe, 34, died in March 2007 along with one of her twin sons who was born three months prematurely.

The case was taken by her husband Aidan McCabe, the couple's eldest son, who is six, and the surviving twin, who is now four.

The Health Service Executive had admitted negligence and the case was before the High Court for assessment of damages.

The court approved a settlement figure of just over €200,000 for the two young boys. The details of the settlement with Mr McCabe were not disclosed.

In court, Counsel for the HSE said it expressed sincere regret to the family for the sad outcome and for the loss of Mrs McCabe and her baby son.

Mrs McCabe's parents and husband were visibly upset in court as the details of her death were recalled.

She was admitted to hospital on 6 March 2007 after her waters broke three months before her due date.

However, she was discharged the following day, only to be readmitted the next day in labour.

The twins were delivered by caesarean section that night, but one of the twins had severe congenital abnormalities and died in her arms a short time after his birth.

In the hours following the birth, Mrs McCabe suffered a post-partum haemorrhage and had to have emergency surgery but did not survive.

The High Court action had claimed negligence on the part of the hospital and an obstetrician, Shane Higgins, in failing to properly diagnose that her waters had broken, wrongfully discharging her from hospital and failing to diagnose that she was in septic shock when she was readmitted.

The court approved settlement figures of €100,500 and €96,500 in respect of her two sons, plus an additional €5,000 each.

The details of the settlement in respect of Mr McCabe for mental distress, shock, loss, damages and expenses plus costs were not disclosed. The court was told Mr McCabe was satisfied with the settlement.

The court also heard that Mrs McCabe's mother Barbara Corcoran had already settled her case for nervous shock.