A verdict of medical misadventure has been returned at the inquest into the death of a 68-year-old man who died two days after being discharged from hospital following a hernia operation.
John Comerford, a father of two from Castlecomer had the procedure carried out at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny on March 11 2011 and was discharged the next morning.
He came into the emergency department on the night of March 20 with a swollen tongue, groin and abdomen. He had low blood pressure and was in a ‘very unwell’ condition and died early on March 21 in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
The coroner’s court in Kilkenny heard yesterday that Mr Comerford’s bowel was perforated as a result of the hernia operation on March 18. He was suffering from septic shock when he returned to the hospital’s emergency unit and had underlying heart disease.
Pathologist Dr Fergus McSweeney said that the cause of death was multi-organ failure, with evidence of a bowel perforation and intra-abdominal haemorrage following the repair of an incision hernia, with heart disease a contributory factor.
The coroner, Tim Kiely, referred to the evidencce of hernia surgery, “which everyone accepts caused the bowel perforation.” He returned a finding of medical misadventure but stressed that this was not a finding of fault with any party involved.