€63,000 for patient who fell in toilet

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A woman has secured €63,000 damages at the High Court over negligence in her post-operative care in Hospital.  The claimant sued the hospital after she had an episode of syncope – heart stoppage leading to a blackout – and fell while in a hospital toilet on May 18, 2014.  She was recovering from a procedure to remove her permanent pacemaker the previous day and awaiting the insertion of another.  The claimant suffered a head injury and has a permanent forehead scar as a result.  Before she had a pacemaker, the claimant had a history of falls and syncope and was a fall risk following the removal of her pacemaker, Mr Justice Anthony Barr noted in his reserved judgment.  There was negligence by her consultant cardiologist in not ensuring clear instructions were given to nursing staff that the patient was a fall risk and should be confined to bed and only permitted to walk with supervision.  She had also suffered anxiety and sleep disturbance, symptoms of acute stress disorder.  Mr Justice Barr assessed total damages at €63,112.