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Irish verdict now in
Started by moya
Posted: November 21, 2006 at 18:53
http://www.breakingnews.ie/2006/11/21/story286000.html
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Re: Irish verdict now in
Reply #1 by linda mccafferty
Posted: November 21, 2006 at 19:52
my thoughts are with mrs mcdowell and her family. her words brought a tear to my eyes "within an hour of brendan's passing away i said i was not going to bury his death with him " how many of us have felt this way........... admireable in every way mrs mcdowell.
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Re: Irish verdict now in
Reply #2 by Maria
Posted: November 21, 2006 at 20:19
Our thoughts are with you Ann.
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Re: Irish verdict now in
Reply #3 by Derek Butler
Posted: November 21, 2006 at 22:33
Ann
I have just read the web link above and I know there is not a lot that I can say, but I know that Brendan would be proud of what you have done for him today. You have achieved a great deal not only for yourself but for many others on this forum, you have shown all of us that with determination you can get an admission of guilt from those responsible.

You take care and I hope to see you on this forum soon.
Derek
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Re: Irish verdict now in
Reply #4 by Belfast Telegraph article
Posted: November 22, 2006 at 23:52
'If something isn't done, more will die'
22 November 2006

The widow of MRSA victim Brendan McDowell last night told of her lengthy battle for recognition that a hospital-acquired infection contributed to her husband's tragic death.

An inquest into the death of the 43-year-old father-of-two found that he died from multiple organ failure as a result of systemic inflammatory response syndrome, hospital acquired infection and a drug allergy.

As a result of Mrs McDowell's determination, this is the first time a hospital-acquired infection has been included on a death certificate in Northern Ireland.

While a post-mortem carried out on Mr McDowell found that he died from multiple organ failure, it stated that this was caused by septicaemia but it failed to include the source of the infection.

Yesterday's findings signalled the end of a 31-month fight by Mr McDowell's widow, Ann, to have the official cause of death altered to include the "hospital-acquired" clause.

Speaking outside Belfast Coroner's Court, a visibly distraught Mrs McDowell said that she had always disputed the Royal's version of the events that led to her husband's death and insisted that there must be no cover-up of MRSA deaths in hospitals.

She also said that she was unhappy with the coroner's summing up at the end of six days of evidence, which she felt had given too much weight to the hospital's version.

"Today's finding is a truly historic one for a health system that continues to deny that it is responsible for the deaths of patients in its hospitals," she said.

"I believe there was a steadfast refusal by the Royal to face up to its responsibilities for what it had caused. Unless something is done more people are going to die."

Mrs McDowell has described the ward where her husband was nursed following the operation on his spine as "filthy" and remains convinced that poor levels of hygiene led to his death.

She explained: "It was Christmas time and they were short staffed but the agency staff didn't seem to know Brendan had MRSA and I had to keep telling them he had an infection. I even put a sign up on his door to let people know he had MRSA."

Hospital infection was a cause of death, jury finds

A hospital-acquired infection caused the death of a 43-year-old man being treated for a spinal injury at the Royal Victoria Hospital, the inquest found yesterday.

Brendan McDowell, a digger operator, died at the Belfast hospital in February 2004 - three months after surgery to insert a metal rod in his spine following an accident at work.

After hearing evidence from medical experts for six days, it took the jury of two women and six men four hours to find that Mr McDowell died from multiple organ failure brought on by an infection he picked up after he was admitted to the Royal.

The jury also found that the drugs given to the father-of-two to combat an MRSA infection also played a role in his death.

During the inquest, it emerged that Mr McDowell, from Mullartown Heights in Annalong, was diagnosed with the MRSA superbug after having his first operation.

The court heard that doctors later discovered that he was suffering from a second infection at the intravenous line being used to administer antibiotics.

It also emerged that Mr McDowell was also diagnosed with nosocomial pneumonia, meaning the infection was hospital- acquired, and that it was also suspected that he was suffering from a urinary tract infection shortly after his admission to the Royal on December 9, 2003.

Although Mr McDowell appeared to recover well from the surgery on his spine, his condition began to decline.

He was initially treated with antibiotics for the MRSA but doctors began to believe that his deterioration was as a result of a severe drug reaction and withdrew all antibiotics for a period of three days.

Mr McDowell then underwent surgery to have his gall bladder removed but never regained consciousness and died on February 21, 2004.

Throughout the inquest, counsel for the hospital argued that infections did not play an active role in Mr McDowell's death.

The court heard that Mr McDowell was displaying SIRS, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, which is indicative of infection or trauma, such as a drug reaction.

However, giving evidence via live video link - a first for the coroner's court in Ulster - Dr Michael Rothburn, a consultant microbiologist and infection control expert, told the court he believed hospital-acquired infections, including MRSA, played a part in Mr McDowell's death.

He also criticised a decision to stop administering antibiotics and said that while he agreed Mr McDowell was probably suffering from a reaction to the medication he was receiving for MRSA, there was no way to prove that his symptoms could not also be attributed to the presence of infection.

Following yesterday's highly emotional hearing, the Royal Victoria Hospital released a statement sympathising with the McDowell family and fully accepting the findings of the Coroner's Court.

"Patient safety is a number one priority for our hospital and our staff work around the clock to reduce the risk of infection and ensure that all our patients receive optimum care," it said.

"Hospitals are not necessarily the starting point for infections - all of us carry organisms harmlessly on our skin - but unfortunately they are the places where infections can do the most damage to very sick people who are already quite vulnerable."
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Re: Irish verdict now in
Reply #5 by ANN BRENDAN MCDOWELLS WIDOW
Posted: November 26, 2006 at 14:19
I WOULD JUST LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE ON THE FORUM WHO SPOKE TO ME ON THE TELEPHONE AND GAVE ME HELP AND SUPPORT TO TAKE BRENDAN'S CASE THIS FAR.

NONE OF THIS WILL BRING BRENDAN BACK BUT HOPEFULLY IT WILL GIVE OTHER PEOPLE THE STRENGTH TO FIGHT THE HEALTH AUTHORITIES AND GET MATRON'S BACK INTO OUR HOSPITALS, AND HOPEFULLY HELP TO PROTECT OTHER FAMILIES FROM GOING THROUGH WHAT WE WENT THROUGH.

FOR ANYONE WHO HAS LOST LOVED ONES IN HOSPITAL'S, OR ANYONE WHO HAS LOVED ONES IN HOSPITAL AT THIS PRESENT TIME, STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT, MAKE SURE THAT HOSPITAL STAFF WASH IT NOT WHITE WASH IT.

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