We represented the partner of a young man who developed a sudden nosebleed which was associated with a hissing sound in his right ear. His nose bleed was heavy, and he called an ambulance. He was taken to Connolly Hospital and his blood pressure was noted to be low. On arrival at Connolly Hospital the medical records noted that he had an uncontrollable major haemorrhage and that his blood pressure remained low with a pulse rate of 66 beats per minute.

He had no previous history of nose bleeds and there had been no trauma to his nose. Connolly Hospital examined him and noted that there was no obvious point of bleeding and no evidence of a posterior bleed. The bleeding was reported as having stopped and he was discharged. Approximately two hours later he returned to Connolly Hospital with another nosebleed. His left nostril was packed and approximately 10 minutes later he started bleeding from the right nostril and coughing up blood and what looked like blood clots. He complained of pain in his teeth/jaw, headache, weakness and generally feeling unwell. He looked pale and he had a low haemoglobin.

Connolly Hospital contacted Beaumont Hospital as they had an ENT referral service between the two hospitals. He was advised to go to Beaumont Hospital if there was a recurrent bleed and to have his GP refer him for an ENT outpatient appointment. Less than 24 hours later the patient collapsed in his home having suffered from a massive haemorrhage from his nose. An ambulance was called, and he was reported as having been found on the sitting room floor in a large pool of blood with his airway partially blocked with blood. CPR was commenced and he was brought to Connolly Hospital. Whilst in Connolly Hospital there were prolonged attempts at resuscitation, and he had a number of blood transfusions. He continued to bleed from his nose and during resuscitation attempts more than two litres of blood was suctioned from his mouth. Sadly, the patient died a short time later.

The post-mortem examination recorded the cause of death as haemorrhage and shock due to nosebleed with a contributory factor being obstruction of the airways by blood.

Rachael Liston, solicitor specialising in medical negligence, acted on behalf of the partner of the Deceased in what was a traumatic and emotive case. She also represented the Deceased’s partner during the Inquest into his death.

As a result of the shocking and traumatic circumstances surrounding the sudden and unexpected death of her partner, the Plaintiff suffered severe nervous shock, upset and mental distress. Her life was devastated by what occurred and a fatal claim was taken on her behalf.

The Defendants, Connolly Hospital and Beaumont Hospital denied liability. However, they ultimately engaged in mediation which resulted in a very substantial settlement for the Plaintiff which included a Solatium payment to the Deceased’s family, Inquest fees and High Court costs.

If you require any further information in relation to a case of this nature please contact Rachael Liston, Solicitor specialising in medical negligence, on 019123240 or rachael.liston@listonflavin.ie.

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