A High Court action for nervous shock has been settled for €650,000 in favour of the husband and son of a woman who died at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) not long after having an emergency caesarean section.
31-year-old Nora Hyland, originally from Malaysia, passed away on the operating table at the NMH, Holles Street, Dublin, on February 13, 2012, just three hours following an emergency caesarean section procedure during the birth of her son Frederick. The hospital did not admit liability and denies the claims.
The Hylands’ legal representative, Sasha Louise Gayer, informed that the Hylands were satisfied with the settlement but were too upset to attend court. Ms Gayer informed the court that Frederick was delivered successfully but Ms Hyland began to quickly lose a lot of blood.
A subsequent inquest resulted in a verdict of medical misadventure. The first-time mother had to wait almost 40 minutes for a blood transfusion after she experienced severe bleeding after an emergency birth.
In presenting his ruling on the cause of death, Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell ruled that the chief factor was cardiac arrest which occurred due to severe post-partum haemorrhage. However, he was unable to confirm that the delay in Mrs Hyland receiving blood was a “definite” cause of her death.
In addition to this the inquest was told that a labelling mistake in the laboratory led to a 37-minute delay in Mrs Hyland having a blood transfusion. Another issue was that no emergency supply units of O-negative, the universal blood type, were stored in operating theatres at the National Maternity Hospital at the time. Measures were implemented in theatre and a request for blood was processed just after midnight. A blood transfusion was carried out around 40 minutes later.
Mr Hyland, (42) Station Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin had sued the NMH for nervous shock in relation to the traumatic circumstances at the time of his wife’s death.