Farmer who fractured hip died of Hospital Negligence

The HSE has apologised unreservedly to the family of a part-time farmer who died in hospital three days after being admitted having injured himself cutting down a tree.

The entire preventative measures that should have happened in the A&E department at Cork University Hospital did not occur in the case of Michael Feeney, Coolagown, Fermoy, Co Cork, the HSE said.

Mr Feeney’s brother, John Feeney, also of Coolagown, had sued the HSE as a result of the death. Liability was admitted and the case was settled for €95,000.

The apology read by the Feeney family counsel, Dr John O’Mahony, stated: “The HSE accepts the care provided to the deceased in this case was negligent and sub-standard.

“Subsequent to the death, a system analysis review was performed and recommendations were made in that regard which have been implemented.”

Counsel said Mr Feeney, who worked in Teagasc and was in his 50s, had injured himself while cutting down a tree on his land in Fermoy. He was admitted to the hospital after 10pm on April 9, 2014, with a hip fracture.

Mr Feeney remained in a wheelchair throughout that night and the next morning he was put on a trolley.

He was told he required surgery but Mr Feeney was later told due to time constraints and unavailability he would not be operated on until the following Monday.

Counsel said Mr Feeney was allocated a bed at about 7pm on April 11 and was kept under review by the orthopaedic team.

Mr Feeney developed a deep vein thrombosis and later cardiac arrest and died before 5pm on April 12. Dr O’Mahony said Mr Feeney required surgery and this did not take place in the first 24 hours after his admission to A&E.

It was claimed there was a failure to exercise reasonable diligence, care, skill and competence in the examination, investigation, diagnosis, treatment, advice and management of Mr Feeney.

Outside court, John Feeney, flanked by his sister Ann and brother Thomas, said the family were glad to have received the apology.

He said: “The family are deeply saddened by what happened in hospital and we are so glad to have an apology. We hope that such a tragedy will never happen again.”

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