A woman who sued after a swab the size of a “plum” was left inside her following the delivery of her baby at a Dublin hospital has been awarded €117,000 damages.
Sarah Daly had developed a significant infection after the swab was removed, Mr. Justice Kevin Cross noted at the High Court. He said the experience arising from the swab meant what ought to have been a very joyous occasion for Ms Daly, with the birth of her baby, had become something she will live with for the rest of her life.
The judge said Ms Daly was entitled to be compensated for the wrongful insertion of the swab; the fact it was not diagnosed for a considerable time despite her complaints; that no internal examination took place; and, after the swab was removed, she was discharged from hospital without any antibiotic and developed a significant infection.
Ms Daly (38), a marketing manager, of Rathfarnham, Dublin, had sued Valerie Donnelly, a consultant obstetrician, and another consultant, Charles Julian Dockeray, who had managed the delivery of her baby and was standing in for Ms Donnelly.
Mr Justice Cross said Ms Daly was admitted to Mount Carmel Hospital on April 22nd, 2013 and her baby was safely delivered.
Three days later, Ms Daly was in extreme pain and distress and was taken back to the hospital by her husband, but no internal examination was undertaken, he said.
During an internal examination on April 28th, the swab, which was “offensive and malodorous” and the size of a “plum” was removed, he said.
It was common case the swab ought not to have been left inside Ms Daly and should have been detected sooner, he said. It would have been had there been an internal examination carried out on her first complaints, he added.
Mr Justice Cross said a total award of €117,000 was fair and reasonable.
Article, Irish Times Newspaper, 26th January 2016