Hospitals apologise to family for ‘shortcomings’ after deaths of Irish father and son

Hospitals apologise to family for ‘shortcomings’ after deaths of Irish father and son

TWO hospitals have apologised to an Irish family for ‘shortcomings’ in the care given to a father and son, who died 16 months apart.

Eddie Lonergan, 74, and his son PJ, 39, from Cashel, Co. Tipperary, both died one day after being discharged, reports RTÉ.

In January 2013, Eddie Lonergan took his own life after being discharged from a psychiatric unit at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny a day earlier.

He had only spent a day at the facility, having been transferred from South Tipperary General Hospital where he had been admitted several days earlier.

His family’s lawyers told the High Court today that his discharge from St Luke’s was wholly unsatisfactory and should never have happened.

Barristers for the hospital apologised to his wife Esther and the family for the shortcomings in his care leading up to his death.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross awarded damages for wrongful death of just over €25,000.

Meanwhile Mr Lonergan’s son PJ died of a heart attack in May 2014.

PJ had an ECG at South Tipperary General Hospital that showed he had myocarditis, but was discharged when a second ECG showed a slight improvement.

He died at home the following day.

Medical experts told the court he would not have had a heart attack if proper treatment had been given in the hospital.

They added that if the heart attack had happened in the hospital, he would have had a 20 to 30 per cent chance of survival.

The court approved a settlement for his son Mark, who sued for negligence, for €900,000.

The hospital’s lawyers apologised for "shortcomings" in PJ Lonergan’s care and offered their "sincere sympathy and condolence".