Family of Irish man who died after going to hospital in Faro asks for compensation of 500 thousand euros

The case dates back to June 16, 2022

Photos: Nuno Costa | Sul Informação (file)

The family of an Irish man who died less than 48 hours after being taken to hospital in Faro, where he was seen by a doctor, will ask for compensation of 500 thousand euros from the Algarve hospital center.

The case dates back to June 16, 2022, when Robert Patrick Byrne, 27, who was on vacation in the Algarve, was taken by ambulance to the hospital complaining of abdominal pain, but ended up leaving the unit after a few hours.

According to Lusa, the victim's parents' lawyer, Alexandre Martins, the death was certified less than 48 hours later, in the early hours of June 18, in Dublin, Ireland, where he traveled in severe pain, as described by his friends.

The family is asking the Centro Universitário Hospitalar do Algarve (CHUA) and the doctor who treated him for compensation of 500 thousand euros, alleging that the unit failed to provide him with adequate care, which led him to leave the hospital without knowing that he was running the risk of dying.

“All the patient is a layman, he didn’t speak Portuguese and no one spoke English to him so he could understand what was happening”, said the lawyer in statements to Lusa, saying he believed that if the doctor who saw him had continued with the care , Robert would not have died.

According to the initial petition of the case, to which Lusa had access, on June 16, at 06:00 am, the victim began to feel severe abdominal pain, which did not improve, and friends called the National Institute of Medical Emergency (INEM).

The medical team that went to the scene decided to take him to the emergency room at the hospital. Faro, where Robert was admitted at 10:26, having, as the document describes, been “abandoned” for approximately three hours, “without any support”.

According to Alexandre Martins, during the screening, a green bracelet was given to him by a nurse, which corresponds to a non-urgent situation, and his pain was classified from 1 to 4, on a scale of 0 to 10.

At 12:26, ​​Robert was seen by a doctor, who carried out an objective examination and noted in the clinical observations that the patient had a “hard abdomen” and presented “abdominal defense”, having placed “acute abdomen” as a possible diagnosis.

“The doctor realized that it could be an acute abdomen, but he did not inform Robert of the severity of his clinical condition, he did not carry out additional tests, he did not give him medicine to alleviate the pain, he did nothing”, emphasizes the lawyer.

According to the family, the clinician “omitted the appropriate response he should have given to the case”, as the acute abdomen could constitute a situation that requires urgent treatment.

According to Alexandre Martins, the autopsy identified the cause of death as “metabolic stress” from a perforated duodenal ulcer and severe ulcerative esophagitis”.

Without “any support from health professionals”, the man ended up “seeking support from friends” and returned to his accommodation, with “negligence in information” being decisive in the patient leaving the hospital, as who didn't know his life was at risk.

When Robert was called to continue care, around 15:00 pm, the hospital team realized that the patient was no longer there, and he was administratively discharged due to abandonment.

The following day, on June 17th, Robert began his journey back to Ireland and his death would be certified by a medical team after landing, at Dublin airport, at 02:00 on the 18th.

“After all, the doctor had at his disposal all the means considered necessary for the patient to be treated and not die, but he did not even have the humanity to inform the patient of the seriousness of his case”, emphasize the authors of the petition, who consider that The son's death was caused by a medical error.

Considering that it was not a “mere error” or “simple delay in providing care”, the young man’s family believes that the “omission to help” cost him his life, causing them not only “immense pain, but also irreparable damage ”, for which they are asking for compensation of 500 thousand euros.

The amount requested refers to non-pecuniary damages, taking into account “all the suffering and pain that the authors suffer and will suffer every day of their lives, due to the absurd loss of their son”.