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St James’s Hospital, Dublin has apologised to the husband of a woman who died in their facility after undergoing stem cell transplantation. The apology was read out in the High Court in Dublin as part of a confidential settlement of the family’s case.

Ms Kozyra, who was a resident in Northern Ireland, had been transferred from Belfast City Hospital to St James’s Hospital for the specialist treatment. Ms Kozyra required the transplant after being diagnosed with a bone marrow stem cell disorder. She was transferred from Belfast to Dublin because a family match could not be found, and Northern Ireland Hospitals do not carry out unrelated donor bone marrow transplants. After the transplant Ms Kozyra’s condition deteriorated and she sadly passed away on 5th October 2013, less than two months after the operation.

Ms Kozyra’s death was a result of an error in filling out a form, when a transplant coordinator had mistakenly marked her down as being negative for cytomegalovirus (CMV) when she was, in fact, positive. A common virus which can lie dormant, CMV can be reactivated and become dangerous when someone is immunosuppressed after a transplant. This meant that Ms Kozyra’s immune system did not respond as it should after the transplant.

The legal team for the Ms Kozyra’s family claimed there was a failure to observe and analyse the signs and symptoms of her post transplant condition in time, or at all, and a failure to administer an antiviral agent in time, or at all. It was further claimed there was failure to consider or make the correct diagnosis and to apply the normal standards of professionalism to Ms Kozyra’s care.

In the apology read to the court as part of the settlement of the case, the hospital offered its sincere condolences to Ms Kozyra’s husband Piotr Kozyra and her extended family on her death. The hospital also acknowledged their culpability by stating “The hospital acknowledges that there was a delay in identifying a complication of her illness which contributed to her death.”

The Coroner had later recorded a verdict of ‘medical misadventure’ in the case. Counsel said the apology did help Mr Kozyra but he had also said nothing would replace his Mr Kozyra’s wife.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross sympathised with Mr Kozyra for the “tragic and avoidable” loss of his wife and said he knew nothing would compensate Mr Kozyra for his loss.

At Edwards & Co we have represented many individuals and families in the highly complex process of medical negligence litigation and have obtained millions of pounds in compensation for our clients. It is a process that can take a long time but our expertise and sensitivity allow us to guide you through each stage ensuring you understand exactly what is happening whilst providing you with professional, knowledgeable advice.

For further information and advice please contact Francesca Glynn.