Apology meant more than compensation for family of Eve Cleary

The late Eve Cleary.

THE FAMILY of a young Limerick woman who died of deep vein thrombosis hours after she was discharged from University Hospital Limerick (UHL) and told to go home and rest have settled their High Court action against the HSE.

The family of Eve Cleary (21) from Corbally have settled their action for an undisclosed amount.

As part of the settlement, the HSE and UHL in a statement to the High Court expressed “sincere condolences and deep regret” on the “untimely death” of Ms Cleary.

The High Court heard that the settlement is without an admission of liability.

Ms Cleary died in the early hours of July 21, 2019, two days after she fell and hurt her leg and went to the emergency department of the Dooradoyle hospital where she spent 17 hours on a trolley and died over three hours after she had been discharged and told to go home and rest.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

During the High Court case, a medical expert giving evidence on the family’s claim said that if Ms Cleary had been given an anti-coagulant, it would have prevented her from developing the blood clot in her lung which led to her cardiac arrest and death.

The HSE denied all the claims.

The family’s counsel, Dr John O’Mahony SC with Doireann O’Mahony BL, told the High Court it was their case if Ms Cleary had a blood clot VTE risk assessment, she would have been given the anti-coagulant heparin and it would have protected her “from the dreadful outcome”.

Announcing the settlement, a joined statement from the HSE and  UHL statement, read to the court, said: “On behalf of the hospital and staff and the HSE, I wish to offer our sincere condolences and deep regret to Melanie, Barry, and Eve’s family on Eve’s untimely death.”

“The hospital has taken on board the issues and concerns raised by the Cleary family and we wish to reassure them that UL Hospital Group strives at all times to optimise patient care.”

”In memory of the late Eve Cleary, and in the spirit and name of her legacy, the management of the hospital will be introducing a rolling audit programme on recognising, reducing, and managing VTE on a quarterly basis with its findings being shared with the governance group.”

It was claimed that Eve was allegedly allowed to develop a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and that an opportunity had been allegedly missed at the hospital to put her on the anti-coagulant heparin upon admission.

The HSE accepted a formal risk assessment in relation to blood clots was not done but has denied all other claims. The HSE, the court heard, did not accept the failure to carry out the risk assessment was a breach of duty. It said the treatment and management of Ms Cleary was reasonable and appropriate.

The settlement came after a week of hearings before a High Court judge and mediation talks.

Eve’s mother told Mr Justice Paul Coffey on her seventh day in court that she, her husband, and family were relieved the court battle was over. She said, to the family, that an apology meant more than compensation.