Woman Awarded Compensation for an Infection Caused by a Retained Swab

A woman from Dublin has been awarded €117,000 compensation for an infection caused by a retained swab following a hearing at the High Court.

Thirty-eight year old Sarah Daly from Rathfarnham in Dublin gave birth to a healthy baby on April 22nd 2013 at the Mount Carmel Hospital. Within a few days however, Sarah´s husband had to take her back to the hospital as she was experiencing extreme pain in her lower abdomen.

Unfortunately, medical professionals at the Mount Carmel Hospital failed to conduct an internal investigation for three days. When they did so, they discovered a retained swab left inside of Sarah that had swelled to the “size of a plum”.

The swab was removed but, due to a failure to prescribe Sarah antibiotics she developed a painful and long-lasting infection.

Sarah sought legal advice and claimed compensation for an infection caused by a retained swab made a claim for a retained swab against consultant Valerie Donnelly and Charles Julian Dockeray – the two medical professionals responsible for her care at the Mount Carmel Hospital.

Liability was acknowledged for all three complaints in the claim – that the swab was wrongfully inserted, that the presence of the swab was not identified for three days, and that she was discharged without antibiotics, resulting in an infection – and the case went to the High Court to assess how much compensation for an infection caused by a retained swab Sarah was entitled to.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said what ought to have been a very joyous occasion for Sarah had become something that will live with her for the rest of her life. Judge Cross awarded Sarah €117,000 compensation for an infection caused by a retained swab – commenting that he believed the award was “fair and reasonable” in relation to the pain and discomfort Sarah had experienced.