HSE is facing court action over Eve’s tragic death

Melanie Sheehan Cleary and Barry Cleary at the inquest into the death of their daughter, Eve Cleary (21)

by David Raleigh

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THE family of a young Limerick woman who died of a cardiac arrest just hours after she was discharged from University Hospital Limerick (UHL), has issued High Court proceedings against the Health Service Executive.

The action, being brought by Eve Cleary’s parents and siblings, claims medical negligence and a breach of duty of care to Ms Cleary.

The 21-year-old from Corbally died at UHL in the early hours of July 21, 2019 just four hours after she was discharged with a suspected soft tissue injury and swelling to her leg.

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She had initially presented at the hospital on July 19 with a suspected fracture following a fall and was triaged to the emergency department as an urgent case.

Ms Cleary spent 17 hours on a trolley without a pillow or a blanket in a cramped corridor of the overcrowded emergency department near a foul smelling sink that had been used as a toilet by another patient.

She had presented with a number of risk factors for blood clots and was admitted as an in-patient to a ward on July 20 for a CT scan on her leg.  However her medical files appeared to be missing, and the ward nurses were not fully aware of why she was there.

The scan showed no abnormalities and she was discharged and told to rest her leg.

Four hours later she went into cardiac arrest at her home and was taken to UHL where she died of cardiac arrest due to extensive bilateral thrombo-embolisaiton or blood clots in her lungs.

Coroner John McNamara returned a verdict of medical misadventure and said the case was one of “missed opportunities” but this was not to fault anyone involved in her care.