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Hospital Consultant’s Widow Claims Medical Negligence in his Care & Treatment

A hospital consultant’s widow has taken a legal action alleging negligence in the care and treatment of her husband at two different Dublin hospitals.

Meraid Hyland-McGuire claims that there was failure to act properly in response to an electrocardiogram (ECG) that was conducted on her 58-year-old husband Patrick indicating he had suffered a heart attack. Had there been a proper response, he would probably have survived, it is alleged.

 The couple had been married for 30 years at the time of his death in 2016. he had been around €500,000 a year as a consultant in emergency medicine at locations, including the Beacon Clinic, which has since named its A&E department after him.

Ms Hyland-McGuire, of Stonebridge Road, Rathmicahel, Co Dublin, was completely financially dependent on her husband and the case includes a claim for €2.8m relating to loss of earnings and opportunities, Ms Hyland-McGuire is also seeking compensation for nervous shock arising from his death.

The case has been submitted against Professor Des Winter, a general/laparoscopic and gastrointestinal surgeon attached to St Vincent’s Private Hospital (SVPH), Merrion Road, Dublin 4 and St Vincent’s University Hospital and is also against both of those hospitals.

The court was told by Ms Hyland-McGuire’s legal team that Dr Hyland McGuire was working at the Beacon Clinic hours before he admitted himself to SVPH about 10.30pm on the night of July 28th 2016. Prior to that he had phoned Prof Winter to inform him of the different symptoms including abdominal distention and fever he was suffering from. He then diagnosed himself as suffering from diverticulitis [a digestive tract disease] and was admitted SVPH as an in-patient under the care of Prof Winter. During the first night of his hospital stay, at about 5am, Dr Hyland-McGuire was suffering from a dizzy spell due to an ECG. The ECG unequivocally showed proof of an acute inferior miocardial infarction or heart attack, counsel said. Teh case that was being made stated that the defendants did not take any appropriate action arising from the results of the ECG.

Nursing staff called Prof Winters about 6.27am asking for him to be moved to SVUG for vital cardiac care but Prof Winters refused to sanction that at that stage and suggested a cardiac consultation later that morning. A third ECG at 6.48am confirmed the results of two earlier ECGs and the consultant cardiologist was called, leading to drugs being given to Dr Hyland-McGuire and him moving to SVUH about 8am.

Dr Hyland-McGuire spoke to his wife by phone before being taken to the Cath Lab by 8.15am for an angiogram and attempted coronary intervention. The case being made is that he should have been taken to the closest hospital that could treat Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI), St James or the Mater, as SVUH had permanently ceased about April 2015 to have on-site PCI facilities.

The Court was told that Dr Hyland-McGuire developed cardiogenic shock about 8.40am and lost consciousness. Despite more attempts at resuscitation and coronary medical interventions, he was pronounced dead at 10.59am.

Presenting separate legal defences, the defendants refute the claim his death was caused or contributed to by any medical negligence, breach of duty or breach of agreement on their part.

In his defence, Professor Winter claims he had told Dr Hyland McGuire, during their phone conversation on the afternoon of July 28th 2016, to go to the emergency department of the Beacon Hospital for an evaluation and a CT scan to be conducted and to attend either Blackrock Clinic or SVUH but the deceased declined those suggestions and guidance.

He says the agreed strategy was for Dr Hyland-McGuire to come and see him at once in his medical clinic and have a CT scan carried but Dr Hyland-McGuire did not come and texted at 8.15pm stating he was still at work at the Beacon Clinic. Prof Winter says he then departed VUH as he understood the deceased was refusing to have a CT scan conducted or attend the clinic.

The case will continue today.

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