Inquest told of 'nightmare' days before patient died at Mid-Western Regional Hospital Limerick

Thursday 09 May 2013 00.06
Counsel for the HSE said three doctors would say the woman's cardiac arrest was unexplained
Counsel for the HSE said three doctors would say the woman's cardiac arrest was unexplained

A woman has told an Inquest in Limerick that the last few days of her mother’s life were a nightmare, before she died at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick almost three years ago.

Sandra Cleary was speaking at the inquest into the death of her mother Helen, who died at the hospital in June 2010, after being treated there for almost two months.

Helen Cleary, a native of Foynes in Co Limerick, died at the hospital on 30 June 2010.

She was admitted initially in mid May as she was feeling generally unwell.

However, her health deteriorated rapidly once she was admitted, and she declined into a coma.

She was treated in the intensive care unit, where she was ventilated. She also had to undergo a tracheotomy.

Sandra Cleary said the family was told her mother had suffered a heart attack on 19 June, and that staff had spent considerable time trying to resuscitate her.

She also said a doctor at the hospital told her that a blockage in her tracheotomy or breathing tube caused a lack of oxygen, which had led to the cardiac arrest.

Her health continued to decline and she never regained consciousness after the arrest.

However, counsel for the HSE said the inquest would hear evidence from three doctors who would say otherwise, and that the cardiac arrest was unexplained.

Ms Cleary said her mother’s last days in the hospital were a living nightmare, and that she and her family will never recover from the undeserved torment and indignity of her final days.

The inquest will go on for at least two days.