Going for a check-up or procedure can be daunting enough on a regular day, but for something to go so majorly wrong as in this report, is terrifying.
A young woman has today been awarded damages after a swab the size of a “mini-football” was left inside of her for almost three weeks undetected.
The National Maternity Hospital (NMH) were ordered by Mr Justice Kevin Cross to pay a sum of almost €140,000 in damages to 30-year-old Claire Lalor, who suffered injuries and trauma as a result of the shocking incident.
The incident arose after Ms Lalor gave birth at the hospital on December 24, 2012. She was discharged three days later, but ended paying two further trips to the hospital upon the advice of public health nurses.
According to details of the case heard this week, Ms Lalor had complained of pain as well as a smell from her lower body. She was not given an internal examination on either of the two occasions, but instead was given antibiotics.
It was only on Ms Lalor’s third visit to hospital that she was given an internal examination, with doctors discovering the swab. She was extremely ill in the aftermath, but upon returning to hospital a fourth time, was incorrectly informed that she was suffering with post-natal depression.
She was admitted to hospital, but upon release, she suffered from sweating, chills, fever and diarrhoea. Ms Lalor was then taken to Beaumont Hospital, where she was diagnosed with C.difficile – an infection brought on by unnecessary treatment with antibiotics.
NMH accepted liability for insertion of the swab and failure to detect it. The only dispute was regarding the psychological and psychiatric consequences, with Ms Lalor claiming that the incident had made her obsessive about cleanliness and fearful for her baby’s health.
Justice Cross went on to award €140,000 to Ms Lalor, deeming it a ‘fair and reasonable’ award.