The widower and ten children of a 43- year old mother who died during a surgical procedure at Mercy University Hospital, Cork have settled their High Court action for €725,000.
Sameera’s Barwari’s husband and 19-year old daughter looked on in the treatment room of the Cork hospital as medics tried for over an hour to resuscitate the mother of ten.
Mercy University Hospital Cork today expressed “sincere regret” at Mrs Barwari’s death.
In a letter to Mrs Barwari’s husband, which was read out in the High Court, the hospital also offered “our deepest condolences” to him, his daughter and the wider Barwari family.
“We appreciate your great loss and fully acknowledge the distress and sadness suffered by you and your family as a result of Sameera’s passing,”, the letter stated.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the settlement against Mercy University Hospital was without an admission of liability.
Sameera Barwari was a Kurdish person from Iraq but lived in the West of Ireland at the time of her death. Her youngest child is now aged 15 years of age. She was also a grandmother of four when she died.
Counsel for the Barwari family Dr John O’Mahony SC told the court Mrs Barwari died on the operating table during an elective procedure in relation to her lungs. Counsel said her husband and daughter saw her go in to cardiac arrest and the attempts to resuscitate her. Counsel said they found this very distressing and after an hour of trying to resuscitate her, Mrs Barwari died. He said Mrs Barwari did not understand English and this was an issue in the case in relation to consent.
He said liability was very much at issue in the case.
Hagi Taha Barwari (54) and his daughter Rowshan Hagi Taha Barwari, both of Renmore, Co Galway had sued Mercy University Hospital, Cork Ltd as a result of Mrs Barwari’s death at the Cork hospital during an embolisation procedure nine years ago.
Mrs Barwari had a chest scan in 2010 which showed up at least six large pulmonary arterio venous malformations which affect the blood flow. She was admitted to the Cork hospital on January 13, 2011 for the embolisation therapy which would involve the closing off of the feeding arteries to the malformations.
It was claimed there was an alleged failure or neglect to specifically recheck, record and interpret the patient’s blood pressure on her arrival in the operative suite and cancel the non-emergency surgery until her blood pressure had been brought under control.
It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to identify the risks and to correctly evaluate the woman's presenting medical condition and her medical history. Two separate drugs it was alleged were used for sedation when it was claimed appropriate and best practice holds that in general only one sedative drug would be necessary for the vast majority of patients.
It was also claimed there was an alleged failure to gain an alleged informed consent for the woman when she was being admitted for the procedure.
Mrs Barwari was admitted to Mercy University Hospital on January 13, 2011. It was claimed the hospital provided an interpreter for her but the interpreter did not speak her dialect.
The embolisation procedure was started the next morning January 14, 2011 and Mrs Barwari it is claimed was brought unaccompanied to the treatment area.
It is alleged no interpreter was called or present when the procedure commenced and the woman was stressed and agitated.
Mrs Barwari it is claimed indicated she was experiencing chest pain after the first part of the procedure and on the second embolisation she became very distressed and agitated. Her daughter was called into the treatment area along with her husband to assist in the communication and a sedative was administered to the woman. Mrs Barwari stopped breathing during the fourth embolisation.
An inquest later in to Mrs Barwari’s death recorded a verdict of medical misadventure.
The claims were denied and the hospital contended the procedure had been explained in detail to Mrs Barwari. It also said she had signed a consent form and it had been read to her beforehand and the interpreter had translated.
Approving the settlement today Mr Justice Kevin Cross offered his sincere sympathy to the Barwari family and he said he was sure the expression of regret from the hospital was of some comfort to the family.