€750k Hospital Negligence Award After ‘Delay’ on CT Scan Led to Brain Bleed

A man who took a hospital negligence compensation action against St James’ Hospital Dublin, regarding the care he was given after he was violently attacked,  has settled his High Court damages action for €750,000.

Francis Cunningham (45), who is now restricted to a wheelchair, had a laceration on the back of his head when he was brought to St James’ Hospital in Dublin following the assault, which happened place in 2010. His legal counsel, barrister Oisin Quinn SC, told the court that Mr Cunningham, who was discovered to have bleeding on the brain after having a CT scan, should have had the scan sooner after he was admitted. This would have results in him having brain surgery earlier and, more than likely, he would have been able to walk and live as normal.

Mr Cunningham, with an address at Casement Park, Finglas, Dublin, through his brother James, of the same address, took the hospital negligence compensation case against St James’s Hospital over the carehe was given on October 2, 2010, following a violent attack that had happened nearby.

It was stated by Mr Cunningham’s legal counsel that:

  1. There was a failure to properly treat and diagnose Mr Cunningham when he was rushed to the hospital by ambulance.
  2. There was a failure to deal with his injuries with proper urgency, particularly due to his head injuries.
  3. There was a failure to complete any suitable observation or monitoring of his injuries.

It was commented that when Mr Cunningham was brought to the hospital A&E at 3.26pm that his chief complaint was alcohol and his secondary complaint a cut to his head. Two hours later when he was further reviewed, it was recorded that Mr Cunningham was drunken and not verbalising and had a wound on the rear of the head.

It was claimed that a CT scan, which took place three hours after his admission, indicated bleeding on the brain and he was rushed to a different hospital for brain surgery. It was claimed at this stage his clinical condition had greatly decreased.

St James’s Hospital admitted that it was in breach of duty and that a review of Mr Cunningham at 5.20pm should have lead to a request for a CT brain scan. All other claims were denied by the legal representatives for the hospital.

In giving his approval for the medical negligence compensation settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was a proper amount.

Posted in Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland, Nursing Negligence in Ireland

€750k Medical Negligence Award for Family of Woman who Died Hours after Visiting Local Doctor

A medical malpractice High Court compensation award settlement of €750,000 has been approved for the family of a 42-year old mother of three who passed away following a heart attack which occurred soon after attending with her local GP due to cardiac arrest-like symptoms.

Sheila Tymon was discovered by her three young daughters, aged between five and ten, after she had collapsed at home on her bed. The girls phoned their father Michael who rushed back to their house at Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim.

A post mortem examination on June 29, 2013, revealed that Mrs Tymon had serious cardiovascular disease  and her heart was in an enlarged state. The cause of death was recorded as acute cardiac failure.

The claimants said that there was there was a absence of adequate care given to Mrs Tymon. Mr Tymon, who had been driving his car home at 70kmph in a 50km zone with his lights flashing, had been spotted an off duty Garda detective who followed him and helped him try to resuscitate his wife. Their three daughters stood watching as this was happening.

With his daughters  Rachel, Rebecca and Katelyn, Mr Tymon with an address at Kilboderry, Summerhill, Carrick on Shannon. Co Leitrim, took the medical negligence compensation action against general practitioner Martina Cogan who was practising at Keadue Health Centre, Keadue, Boyle, Co Roscommon when his wife died in 2013.

Legal representative for the Tymons family, Pearse Sreenan SC, said the family were of the opinion that the GP should have sent Mrs Tymon on for further review and treatment and that, by not doing so, denied a course of action may have prevented her untimely passing.

It was claimed in court that Mrs Tymon went to Dr Cogan on June 10 as she was suffering from abnormal sensations in her chest and down both arms which were very unpleasant and causing her severe discomfort and pain. Dr Cogan, it was alleged, deemed Mrs Tymon’s blood pressure was high and diagnosed a possible case of shingles.

A 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor was put in place when Mrs Tymon attended the doctor’s surgery again suffering from pain two days later. An antihypertensive medication was prescribed and additional review was scheduled for later in July 2013. However, though she was taking the prescribed medication Mrs Tymon went on experiencing pain.

Due to this, Mrs Tymon contacted the doctor’s clinic to see if they could bring the review appointment forward on June 25 but she was told that there was no availability until June 27. She accepted this and at the subsequent appointment it was noted she was still suffering from constant jabs in the front of the chest, shoulders, the top of her back and down her arms. A diagnosis of a musculoskeletal condition was the conclusion and the doctor prescribed anti inflammatory medication to treat this

After went home on June 27 feeling, according to her family, reassured. However, later that same evening she felt some more pain in her neck spreading into her head. At 19.45 pm, her children found her lying completelymotionless on her bed.

The medical negligence compensation settlement, without an admission of liability, was approved by Justice Kevin Cross.

Posted in Doctor Negligence in Ireland, Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland, Nursing Negligence in Ireland, Wrongful Death

52-year-old Woman died due to Hospital Negligence, €300k Compensation Awarded to Family

At the High Court recently the family of a woman who died due to sepsis after contracting a rare infection in the aftermath of a hernia operation have been awarded €300,000 personal injury compensation and have also been issued with an apology in relation to circumstances of their mother’s death.

A mother of two children, Susan McGee died away just over 10 days after having a surgical procedure on her hernia at the Hermitage Clinic in Dublin on July 24, 2013. Following the surgical  procedure, Ms McGee contracted a rare Clostridium Difficile bowel infection. The inquest into her death resulted in a  verdict of medical misadventure was the conclusion delivered.

Melissa Barry, with an address at Grange Rise, Stamullen, Co Meath and her brother John McGee , Bretton Woods, Skerries Road, Rush , Co Dublin filed the hospital negligence compensation action against the Hermitage and consultant surgeons Arnold Hill and Colm Power due to the standard of treatment provided to their mother in July 2013.

The defendants admitted liability, the High Court was advised. Mrs McGee began to suffer complications following hernia surgery in July 2013. Ms McGee’s attending surgeon was not in the clinic due to annual leave when she went back to the clinic after becoming ill. It was made known to The High Court that a different doctor was not available. Due to this, and despite the best efforts of the surgeons that were on site, Ms McGee passed away on 22 July 2013.

Melissa Barry, speaking on behalf of the family, told the High Court saying that her mother’s sad death resulted in a lot of psychological trauma for her family members. She said: “Our mother is missed every day by her entire family and a large circle of friends. We owed it to our amazing mam to seek answers and justice. We hope she can now rest in peace while we can rebuild the rest of our lives.”

Ms Barry added: “The Hermitage Medical Clinic has reassured us new procedures are in place for the handover of patients and we hope lessons have been learned. Patients need to be assured that details of their medical condition and care plan are properly communicated  if they are being put in to the hands of a different medical professional. Hospital staff must also listen to and act on the concerns of a patient’s family.”

As he gave his approval to the hospital negligence malpractice compensation settlement, Justice Mr Justice Robert Eagar, expressed his condolences to the woman’s family.

Posted in Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Medical Misadventure, Medical Negligence in Ireland

€650,000 Birth Negligence Compensation Awarded to Family of Dead Woman

A High Court compensation action for nervous shock caused by death in childbirth has been settled for €650,000 in favour of the husband and son of a woman who died at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) shortly after having an emergency caesarean section.

Nora Hyland (31), who was originally from Malaysia, died on the operating table at the NMH, Holles Street, Dublin, on February 13, 2012, just three hours after having an emergency caesarean section during the birth of her son Frederick. Despite the compensation action being settled, the hospital did not admit liability and refutes the claims that were made.

Legal Counsel for the Hylands, Sasha Louise Gayer, told the High Court that the family were satisfied with the settlement but were too upset to attend court for the approval hearing. Ms Gayer advised the court that Frederick was delivered successfully. However, shortly after the delivery Ms Hyland began to lose a lot of blood.

The inquest into Ms Hyland’s death returned a verdict of medical misadventure. She (Ms Hyland) had to wait almost 40 minutes for a blood transfusion after she suffered severe bleeding during the emergency birth.

Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell ruled that the cause of death was cardiac arrest which happened as a result of severe post-partum haemorrhage. However, he could not confirm that the delay in Mrs Hyland receiving blood was a “definite” factor in her death.

The inquest was also told that a labelling error in the laboratory led to a 37-minute delay in Mrs Hyland being given the blood transfusion. Another issue was that no emergency supply units of O-negative, the universal blood type, were kept in operating theatres at the National Maternity Hospital at the time of the incident. Swift steps were employed in theatre and a request for blood was processed just after midnight.  A blood transfusion was completed 40 minutes later.

Mr Hyland, (42)  Station Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin had taken the legal action against the National Maternity Hospital for nervous shock in relation to the traumatic circumstances.

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland, Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland

Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Compensation of €9.1m Awarded to 7 Year Old Boy

A €9.1m cerebral palsy birth injury compensation settlement has been approved at the High Court for a seven-year-old boy due to the events surrounding his delivery at Cavan General Hospital in 2011.

Jarrah Folkman (7) cannot walk or talk and Elysha McCrudden, his mother, told the High Court that she can never hear her son’s voice due to the injuries he sustained. She added that the birth injury compensation settlement will greatly help her son in relation to future treatment but she lamented that various windows of opportunities for Jarrah had been missed.  Ms McCrudden added that, along with Jarrah’s father Ben Folkman, she had been made to feel that they were responsible for the manner of Jarrah’s birth at times over the last seven years.

In approving the cerebral palsy birth injury compensation settlement against the Health Service Executive, Justice Cross praised Jarrah’s parents for the care they have provided for him over the previous seven years.

Taking the birth injury compensation action through his mother, Jarrah sued the HSE in relation to the manner of his birth at Cavan General on April 19, 2011.

The High Court was told that there was an alleged failure to properly read the CTG trace which indicated a number of decelerations when Ms McCrudden was brought to the hospital on April 15, 2011. Ms McCrudden was sent home and came back to the hospital two days later.

The initial CTG trace, it was also alleged, was not noted as decelerative after Ms McCrudden’s admission and a plan was implemented to continue close monitoring and prepare for an expedited delivery.

Legal representation for Jarrah, Denis McCollough SC, told the High Court that an unsafe set of conditions had remained during the delivery.  The baby it was alleged, should have been delivered on April 16. Mr McCollough said  was flat and unresponsive and required resuscitation when he was finally given birth to.

The HSE accepted liability in the cerebral palsy compensation case which was before the court for assessment of final damages.

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland, Hospital Negligence in Ireland

Woman Suffering with Ovarian Cancer Awarded €2m Failure to Diagnose Compensation

A woman, who cannot be named by order of the court, suffering with terminal ovarian cancer, has settled her High Court action against the HSE for €2million. She took the legal action in relation to an alleged failure to take proper measures to protect her from the danger of developing the disease.

Despite the fact that there was a known family history of ovarian cancer she was not sent for genetic testing. When this was remedied and she was sent for the testing ,when she had begun to develop the cancer, in September 2017 it was discovered that she had been a “carrier all the time.”

Her counsel Patrick Treacy SC, instructed by Cian Carroll, solicitor, told the court the HSE had stated its intention to send a “letter of regret” to her. The settlement was the result of mediation talks with the the woman and her family was brought about after does not require an admission of liability.

Counsel said it was her concern that her case would improve the genetic screening services and her case came to light during the CervicalCheck controversy.

The legal action was taken by the woman, her husband and family against the HSE. It was alleged that the woman who had a family history of ovarian cancer had from August 2010 attended at regular intervals at University Hospital, Limerick, and at Mid Western Hospital, Nenagh, for screening in relation to the danger of her developing ovarian cancer.

In 2015 she underwent a colposcopy and was found to have mild changes in the cervix area. By February 2017 it was discovered that she had ovarian tumours and pathology showed high grade 3 serious cancer of both ovaries and she required a hysterectomy.

It was found, following a genetic analysis in September 2017, that the woman had a pathogenic mutation in the BRCA1 gene , which means she was-a person who was at high risk of ovarian cancer. Furthermore, it was claimed that there was a situation where the woman’s cancer was allowed to develop and spread unidentified and untreated until she was diagnosed with Stage 3c high grade serious ovarian cancer in February 2017.

The woman also claimed that her life expectancy was greatly diminished and stands at about two years.

The HSE denied the claims. The case, which had been due to be heard as an urgent matter, ended as Mr Justice Paul Butler approved the Failure to Diagnose compensation settlement.

Posted in Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland, Misdiagnosis Claim, Wrong Diagnosis Medical Negligence

Woman Settles Dental Treatment Negligence Case for Undisclosed Amount

Roisin Mimnagh, a Co Dublin woman who has settled a €60,000 Dental Treatment Negligence compensation claim told the CIrcuit CIvil Court that she is still afraid to smile following a treatment to one of her teeth.

Mrs Mimnagh (50) alleged that she was traumatised to find an incisor had been filed away without her giving the dentist permission, before it was replaced with an amalgam or composite. Her legal representative, David McParland, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that she had attended Dr Anna O’Donovan’s dental clinic, Griffith Avenue, Dublin, to have an incisor realigned.

McParland advised the judge: “To her horror she afterwards found that her tooth had been filed away and replaced with an amalgam or composite that was smaller and shorter and different from her original tooth”.

Dr O’Donovan legal team advised the judge that a full defence to Ms Mimnagh’s claim had been submitted prior to an admission that no written authorization for the specific remedy for her tooth had not been received before the dental treatment in question.

Judge Linnane said she had examined the pleadings and had discovered that the latest expert report was more than three years old. There had been some remedial work completed in 2013 shortly after the first set of treatments.

Mr McParland told the judge that Ms Mimnagh was still wearing an appliance on her tooth and one of the specialists who had reviewed her felt that she would need even more realignment work. He added that she had thought at first she was going to simply have some white filling applied to her tooth so it would look straighter. When she later found that it had been filed away and an amalgam or composite put on it, she said that she not brave enough to smile.

Ms Mimnagh had personally identified an orthodontist who had given her an estimate for more than €5,000 to realign the damaged tooth. The specialist concurred with Ms Corcoran that this estimate had applied to the provision of treatment to all of her teeth including a consultation with a dental hygienist.

Judge Linnane mentioned the possibly settling the dental negligence case through talk hewas advised  by Ms Corcoran that Dr O’Donovan had always had “a significant willingness” to address the case. Mr McParland told the judge that the dental treatment negligence case had been settled and could be dismissed with an order for Ms Mimnagh’s legal expenses to be taxed in default of agreement. The amount of the compensation was not made public.
Posted in Dentist Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland

Major Review of Breast Cancer Cases at St James’ Hospital Urged

There have been renewed renewed calls made to Minister for Health Simon Harris to begin an investigation into the diagnosis of a number of breast cancer patients who were treated at St James’s Hospital in Dublin in 2010.

A medical negligence specialist with Orpen Franks law firm, Rachael Liston has called on the minister to begin the review. Alison McCormack, her client, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 when she was aged 35. After being referred to the St James’ Hospital breast clinic she was diagnosed with DCIS, Ductal carcinoma in situ, a curable type of cancer.

Ms McCormack had a mastectomy. However there not no chemotherapy prescribed as DCIS is a non-invasive cancer.

Sadly she (Allison) was diagnosed with DCIS a second time – this tie in her lymph nodes and neck. Her treatment, on this occasion, included chemotherapy which resulted in reduced use of her right arm.

Alison secured a meeting at St James’s Hospital in 2013 to discuss questions she had over her case. At the meeting she was told that she had been misdiagnosed in 2010.

In 2010 her original biopsy had indicated that she was suffering from invasive cancer but this had gone unnoticed.

The hospital said this was a mistake that any pathologist could have made and a review of 39 of the specialist’s cases from 2010 was conducted.

Ms Liston has called for Minister for Health Simon Harris to begin a complete review, saying: “Whilst it is reassuring that efforts are being made to enhance and improve our cancer services in Ireland, clearly you would also like to ensure the health and well being of patients who may have been affected by a misdiagnosis and who may not be aware of [it].  A review of the pathology in the remaining 270 patients is likely to take no longer than one week for an independent Pathologist to complete.”

Responding Mr Harris stated that the Health Service Executive has advised that a review is not possible at this time.

Posted in Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland, Misdiagnosis Claim, Wrong Diagnosis Medical Negligence

Irish Mother Addresses EU Review of Epilepsy Treatment Drug

Karen Keely, from Rathoat Co Meath, is a mother of three sons who have experienced illness due to use of the Epilepsy treatment drug Epilim. Two of her sons will never live a normal life due to issues caused by the drug.

Last September (2017) Ms Keely, a member of the Foetal Anti-Convulsant Syndrome Forum gave evidence at the European Medicines Agency about the difficulties her sons have gone through over the duration of their lives.

She said: “Two of my 3 boys require life-long care and will never live a normal life, will never be able to have children or get married. The effects of sodium valproate have been unbearable.

Ms Keely added: “I have been mourning my children since the day they came into my life and I’m determined to not let this injustice happen to other families in the same way that it has happened to mine.”

She also remarked said one of the issues was that some people treated with valproate long term may receive the drug medication contained in a plastic bag.

A national register in Ireland of those who were on the medicine and people who are being prescribed it in the future should established according to Ms Keely who also called for more studie into the scale of the problem and accountability to be conducted. Though the HSE makes the information available online but wider publicity was needed according to the Co Meath mother.

The EU hearing brought together speakers from six EU Member Countries to tell the story their experiences to the members of the PRAC (Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee). Epilim has been seen to be a leading cause of physical deformities, brain damages and autism in children whose mothers are treated with it while pregnant. At present it is being implicated in 40 cases of birth defects and disabilities, reported to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA)  in Ireland.

Findings of the EMA review are expected to lead to new guidelines regarding it being prescribed to pregnant females.

 

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland, Medical Negligence in Ireland

€5m Misdiagnosis Compensation Settlement For Roscommon Woman

Bernadette Surlis, 60 years old, has seen her settlement of €5 million approved in her legal action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) for misdiagnosis negligence in the treatment she received at Sligo General Hospital in November 2013.

Senior Counsel Mr Cush said that, if  had Ms Surlis been appropriately and quickly diagnosed and treated, she would not have experienced the injuries. He told the court that liability was admitted by the HSE.

Ms Surlis went to Sligo General Hospital on November 3, 2013, as she had a headache, was vomiting and had a dilated left eye pupil, but was triaged as category three and left to wait for treatment for a further three hours. ‘Triaged’ refers to the fact that she was not treated as an immediate emergency.

Medical Staff examined her for glaucoma and discharged her. However, she went back the following day when the seriousness of her condition was “appreciated for the first time”.

Ms Surlis from Drinaum, Strokestown in Co Roscommon was sent to Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital on November 5 as she had experienced a hemorrhage and severe/permanent injury. She requires full-time care and Mr Cush said the opinion of experts was that her condition will only marginally improve over the course of her life. She is knowledgeable regarding her condition and has  trouble communicating but can do so with the assistance of her family. Ms Surlis has three adult children and four sisters living close to her.

It is believed that if she had been transferred to Beaumont when she first went to the hospital, she could have been treated properly and made a complete recovery.

Mrs Surlis is now restricted to a wheelchair and resides in a nursing home. The personal injury misdiagnosis settlement means she may realise her wish to return home, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was advised.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the compensation settlement was a “reasonable and very good one” and that he hopes it will allow Ms Surlis to live out the remainder of her life at home.

Posted in Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Incorrect Treatment, Misdiagnosis Claim, Wrong Diagnosis Medical Negligence