Stem Cell

Apology for ‘avoidable’ death of woman after stem cell transplant

Deceased moved from Belfast to St James’s Hospital for operation not available in NI

St James’s Hospital has apologised in the High Court to the husband of a woman who died in the Dublin facility after undergoing a stem cell transplantation. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
St James’s Hospital has apologised in the High Court to the husband of a woman who died in the Dublin facility after undergoing a stem cell transplantation. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The apology was read as part of a confidential settlement of the family’s case.

Barbara Kozyra (32) had been transferred from a hospital in Northern Ireland to St James’s for the specialist treatment relating to a bone marrow stem cell disorder.

Her counsel Jeremy Maher SC said she died less than two months after the operation on August 15th, 2013. He said a mistake was made in filling out a form.

A transplant co-ordinator mistakenly marked Ms Kozyra down as 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.

Mr Maher said Ms Kozyra’s immune system did not respond as it should after the transplant and she…