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Woman Bleeds To Death At University Hospital Limerick.

An inquest heard yesterday that a woman bled to death, following a systems failure, while she was an inpatient at University Hospital Limerick, (UHL), latter a medical facility serving North Co. Tipperary.

The UL Hospitals Group issued an unreserved apology to the family members of 47-year-old Mrs Susan Doherty, latter who lost her life while in the care of staff at University Hospital Limerick on July 4th, 2020; just eight days after she had presented herself there, suffering with a low white blood cell count, a sore throat and a high temperature.

Doctors had requested an urgent scan of Mrs Doherty’s abdomen and pelvis, after she had complained of a severe pain in her chest. This scan however was not carried out until nearly 24 hours later, after which
she had suffered a cardiac arrest.
Doctors had successfully resuscitated Mrs Doherty and transferred her to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, however, she sadly later died after suffering a massive bleed to her spleen.
An eventual CT scan had been taken some 5 hours after her cardiac arrest, which confirmed a major haemorrhage and she sadly died having undergone surgery to remove a ruptured spleen.

The inquest heard that Mrs Doherty had initially presented herself at UHL with a medical history of rheumatoid arthritis and with autoimmune neutropenia, latter a blood disorder where the immune system attacks white blood cells that fight infection.
She had been receiving the therapeutic drug G-CSF, for neutropenia, which carries an extremely rare risk of a splenic rupture, however, after she was admitted to the hospital, she had also received the drug Heparin, latter an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that prevents the formation of blood clots, which may have further exacerbated her internal bleeding.

Had a CT scan been performed on her earlier, it would have changed the direction of Mrs Doherty’s treatment and removed initial concerns regarding a blood clot.

The verdict of the coroner’s inquest was that death was due to shock intra-abdominal haemorrhage, due to splenic rupture.

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