Dead woman in hospital toilet was not found for 10 hours

University Hospital Galway

A woman lay dead, undiscovered for up to 10 hours, in the toilet of a city hospital.

The deceased, believed to be a Polish national, was eventually found in a disabled toilet on the ground floor adjacent to the Emergency Department of University Hospital Galway.

The woman was not registered as a patient of the hospital, or the Emergency Department. It is understood she was a member of the public, and entered the building without the knowledge of hospital staff. A probe is underway into the death.

It is understood she may have fatally hurt herself, possibly accidentally, while inside the toilet and the alarm wasn’t raised until 10 hours later when it was being serviced.

The toilet was locked from the inside, a hospital source said.

Saolta University Healthcare Group, which is responsible for UHG, is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The case has been referred to Galway West Coroner, Dr Ciarán MacLoughlin by the hospital, and a public inquest into the death is likely.

HSE West Regional Health Forum member, Niall McNelis, said it is “unbelievable” that someone could lie dead in a busy hospital, undiscovered for up to 10 hours.
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