Widow awarded €520,000 after late husband bled to death following pharmacy treatment


15 September 2014

A MAN bled to death after he was given a mouth gel in a pharmacy which reacted to medication he was already on, the High Court heard.

Donal ‘Donie’ Kelleher's widow Ann settled her action for damages over his death on September 29, 2003, for more than €520,000.

Mr Kelleher (63) of Mogeely, Co Cork, bled to death after the gel dispensed days before for a mouth infection inter-reacted with the Warfarin medication he was on for his heart condition.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine, who ruled the total settlement for €520,350, was yesterday told Mr Kelleher's reaction was " off the scale".

The judge said there were very tragic circumstances to the case and she asked that her commiserations be passed on to Mrs Kelleher, who was unable to attend court.

Earlier this month, an inquest found that Mr Kelleher had died from a cerebral haemorrhage due to coagulopathy caused by drug interaction and by reason of medical misadventure.

Mrs Ann Kelleher, of Deerpark, Carrignashinny, Mogeely, Co Cork had sued pharmicist Joseph Kelly trading as Castle Pharmacy, Castlemartyr, Co Cork.

Mrs Kelleher's husband had an under-active thyroid gland and atrial fibrillation of the heart. He was prescribed Thyroxine for the thyroid and Warfarin for his heart condition, Karen O'Driscoll SC for Mrs Kelleher said.

In September 2003, Mr Kelleher started to complain of soreness in his mouth and his wife attended Castle Pharmacy on September 13, 2003.

She described her husband's symptoms to the pharmacist and informed him of the prescription medication which her he was taking. Daktarin oral Miconazole gel was dispensed to Mrs Kelleher.

It was claimed that, owing to the negligence and breach of duty, the gel was prescribed and dispensed for the use by Mr Kelleher who in turn used it as instructed.

It was claimed that as a result an inter-reaction took place between the Daktarin oral Miconazole gel which resulted in Mr Kelleher developing a spontaneous inter cerebral haemorrhage and he subsequently died.

Mrs Kelleher suffered severe mental distress, personal injuries loss and damages as a result.

The pharmacy, it was claimed, failed to properly advise Mrs Kelleher when she presented at the pharmacy of the potential inter-reaction between Daktarin oral Miconazole gel and Warfarin and failed to refer her to a doctor.

The settlement relates to Mrs Kelleher's reaction in relation to the death of her husband and her own claim for nervous shock as a result of Mr Kelleher's death.

Her husband had been in good health and it was claimed he died in shocking circumstances over a short period of time.

Mrs Kelleher claimed she suffered flashbacks in relation to the events at the hospital and in particular seeing her husband in bed with tubes coming out of him.

She now does not want to take prescribed medication and is taking herbal remedies to help her sleep.

The couple had been married 37 years at the time of Mr Kelleher's death and it was claimed Mrs Kelleher's life revolved around him and she depended on him for her social life.

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