€10k Missing Medical Instruments Compensation Awarded due to Cancelled Procedure

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The High Court has approved a missing medical instruments compensation award of  €10,000 against the Mater Private Hospital after a man, who had been placed under anaesthetic, never had his operation as a vital piece of medical equipment went missing from the surgical team.

Mr. Peter Keegan (31) was scheduled for an operation on his right hip on 25 November 2016, in the Mater Private Hospital, Eccles St, Dublin 7. However, after he has been placed under general anaesthetic it was discovered that an apparatus was missing and the the procedure could not proceed. When He awoke he was informed of this, which led to him experiencing some distress and his teams of nurses had to settle him down.

Mr Keegan informed the judge that was extremely drowsy upon being discharged from the hospital and went on to suffer with stomach pain and nausea in the days after the cancelled procedure.

Judge John O’ Connor, the Circuit Court this week, was told that Mr Keegan, – with an address at Woodbine Park, Raheny, Dublin 5 was represented in court by Barrister Conor Kearney, appearing with Mark Tiernan, of Tiernan & Company solicitors – had been admitted to the hospital’s short stay procedure unit at 6.45am on the morning in question. At approximately 7.30am he was given an anesthetic. Following this, when the operation set of instruments had been unpacked, it was noticed that an irrigation extender was not to be found.

After some investigation, it was realised that the missing piece of equipment had been sent for repair around one month previously. Unfortunately, the missing piece in question had not been replaced. When Mr Keegan came to from the anaesthetic around 8.30am, he was informed the error.

A new procedure was scheduled for December 5, some ten days later. Mr Keegan told the Judge that he had been worried leading up to the new operation. He said he was very nervous about taking the anaesthetic again.

Judge O’Connor held that had been surgical negligence on behalf of the Mater Private Hospital in what he called an ‘unfortunate incident’. The Judge went on to say that Mr Keegan had been upset and concerned following after the cancelled procedure and was fortunate that there had been no long-term effects.

Judge O’Connor awarded Keegan €10,000 missing medical instruments compensation damages against the Mater Private Hospital in relation to the incident.