HSE apologises to family of father who died from meningitis

© The Independent

Philip Morrissey (39) was found slumped in his hospital bed having suffered a cardiac arrest almost 10 hours after his wife was told he was suffering from constipation, the High Court heard.

The apology was given in court yesterday when Mr Morrissey’s widow, Gail, settled her action against the HSE for €455,000 over his death at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny, on May 28, 2010, two days before his 40th birthday.

Emily Egan SC, for the HSE, extended an apology on behalf of the HSE for the failures while Mr Morrissey was in the care of the HSE.

Mr Morrissey died from streptococcal pneumonia meningitis.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Michael Hanna said a “huge tragedy” had befallen the family and while money could never compensate, it was the best the law could do.

Gail Morrissey, Westfield, Outrath Road, Kilkenny, sued the HSE claiming there was an alleged failure to consider streptococcal pneumonia meningitis and a failure to diagnose and treat it.

Mr Morrissey had attended his GP with a high temperature, headache and earache on May 26, 2010. His doctor referred him to St Luke’s A&E where he was still complaining of a headache, had a high temperature and pulse rate. He also complained of intolerance to light.

It is claimed that at 8.20pm, almost six hours after being admitted, he remained disorientated and appeared drowsy. It was alleged Mrs Morrissey was told this was because her husband was vomiting and he was suffering from constipation.

It was alleged no doctor attended Mr Morrissey between 3.40pm on May 27, 2010, and 6.05am the next day when he was found slumped in bed after suffering a cardiac arrest.



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