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Inquest into teen’s death at UHL ED to resume

The inquest of 16-year-old Aoife Johnston, who died at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) in 2022 after being referred to its emergency department with suspected sepsis, will resume later this morning.

The HSE has already admitted there was a failure of “significant proportions” in the care provided to Aoife Johnston, which had “clear and catastrophic consequences”.

She was referred to the emergency department at UHL on the evening of 17 December 2022, having first attended a local GP in her hometown of Shannon in Co Clare.

Amid scenes described by a senior nurse yesterday as being “akin to a war zone”, she waited more than 12 hours in the emergency department before being seen by a doctor.

During that time her condition steadily deteriorated.

By the time antibiotics were administered for sepsis, she was seriously ill.

Aoife Johnston died on 19 December 2022.

Today’s proceedings before the Limerick County Coroner John McNamara will hear depositions from a number of medical personnel, including nurses, registrars and others, who were on duty at the hospital, on the night Aoife Johnston presented at the emergency department.

Some 25 witnesses are due to give evidence over the course of the inquest, which will continue for much of this week.

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