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21st Feb 2018

HSE Issue Apology After “Catastrophic” Mistake Which Resulted In A Man’s Death

Darragh Berry

The Irish Times is reporting that the Health Service Executive (HSE) has issued an apology to the partner of a man who died after being transferred from hospital to a care facility.

An independent report released regarding the incident said that the man had  “suffered what must have been a horrific death without the dignity one would expect in a modern healthcare system”.

“The fact that a catastrophic failure in healthcare occurred has seemed very apparent. At the most basic level, an extremely ill patient was transferred to a setting where, given their requirements and the equipment available on the ground, death was inevitable.”

The incident took place in 2007 and the man in question – who has not been identified –  had a history of respiratory failure and was “at the end stage of his illness”.

However, Verita, the independent body hired by the HSE to carry out the investigation found that the required level of supplemental oxygen was not available at the community unit and he was pronounced dead within 30 minutes of his arrival.

The report said that the death was both “predictable and preventable”.

The HSE issued an apology in writing and said the report showed the patient’s death was a “catastrophic failure of healthcare”.

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