Mother of Eight Died after Discharging Herself from Overcrowded Hospital

The Coroner’s Court was informed in Dublin today that a 67-year-old mother of eight died just four days after she discharged herself from the Mater Hospital as she was unable to cope with the overcrowded condition.

Cancer patient Elizabeth Leavy from Montpellier Road, Dublin 7 discharged herself from the Mater Hospital after  she had been on a trolley, waiting to be admitted, for six hours. She was kept company by members of her family all evening but they were not aware her condition had deteriorated so badly.

Mrs Leavy, a mother-of-eight, was initially diagnosed with oral and bowel cancer in 2017. Sadly she passed away on the morning of January 22 2018, four days after she discharged herself.

The inquest at the Coroner’s was told that Mrs Leavy’s death happened as a result of cardio-respiratory arrest which was caused by multi-drug toxicity. The woman was experiencing toxic levels of the opiate based pain medications Tramadol and Oramorph in her system, which had intensified over time. A post-mortem report revealed that her cancer was not active when she passed away but she was suffering from chronic inflammation of the liver due to the accumulation of medications.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane commented: “These medications act centrally in the respiratory centre and it impedes your breathing. Your breathing stops and your heart stops and I think that is what happened that morning. The build-up of the medications in her system caused her death.”

Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the Mater Hospital Dr Tomas Breslin, told the inquest about the overcrowding at the hospital when Mrs Leavy was waiting to be admitted. He said: “Overcrowded conditions bring a higher risk of dying. Every nurse and doctor knows this is a massive problem for patients, it affects their care and their outcomes. I reviewed [Mrs Leavy’s] notes in detail. There were questions we didn’t know the answer to and that would have been the reason for keeping her in the department. That being said, you can understand why, when there is no clear issue, a person would decide to leave”.

The coroner returned a verdict of death by misadventure: “She’d gone through a lot of treatment and seemed to be doing well. It’s very tragic, she obviously had a loving and attentive family”.

Mrs Leavy’s daughter Joy, speaking on behalf of the family, said: “She was left in the hallway beside the bins. She was afraid, in pain, uncomfortable and she was hallucinating. She couldn’t stick it. We waited all night with her for test results and they told us she was okay. If we had of known they wanted to do more research we would’ve made her stay. She was left on a trolley in a hallway for six hours, a cancer patient, she’d had enough.”

Joy described her mother as someone who was “bubbly, fun, she saw the good in everyone and everything.”

 

 

Posted in Hospital Negligence in Ireland, Wrongful Death

Cerebral Palsy Compensation Action Settled for €21m

24-year-old Connor Corroon, a cerebral sufferer, who took a legal action in relation to the circumstances of his birth at a Cork hospital settled for a final lump sum payment of €17.5m at the High Court yesterday.

The final payment was given High Court approval, one of the biggest ever recorded in the State, and represents the end to a 17-year legal action by the Corroon family. It means the total amount of payments made to Connor is €21.75m. Connor cannot walk without help and must use a wheelchair to get around. He can only communicate using the help of special eye gaze technology.

Mr Corroon commented: “Today represents the end of 17 long years. I feel free and today my life begins.” In relation to the final settlement he said: “I am happy with that. I am proud that for the first time ever I was able to speak in public and let people know what I wanted to convey rather than others guessing what I was thinking. The experience has been so liberating.”

In 2010 Conor’s legal action was adjourned on an interim as the legislation that allows yearly periodic payments involving the catastrophically injured. Due to this Connor’s mother pleaded with the court to allow one lump sum payment so the family could get on with their lives. She requested that the family be allowed to move away from the “fishbowl life” as her son endured assessments by different specialists before his regular court appearances.

During an earlier hearing the court was told that Mr Corroon, of Copstown, Mallow, Co Cork, suffered catastrophic injuries when he was being delivered at City General Hospital, Cork, in 1995 and will require care for the entirety of his life.

Mr Corroon’s legal counsel David Holland SC returned to the High Court last week for a final lump sum cerebral palsy compensation settlement. They told the Judge that specialist advice they received said that, due to indexation, the yearly periodic payment allowed for in the new legislation “will get more and more insufficient over time”. Mr Holland advised the Court that the family found the “burden of coming to court intolerable and horribly intrusive”.

Liability was accepted and the case was before the court for assessment of damages only.

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland

Hospital Procedure Compensation Award of €10k made due to Man (31)

Judge John O’ Connor given his approval a cancelled hospital procedure  compensation award of  €10,000 against the Mater Private Hospital after Peter Keegan, who had been placed under anaesthetic, never had his operation as a piece of medical equipment was missing.

31-year-old Mr Keegan was due to have an operation on his right hip on 25 November 2016, in the Mater Private Hospital, Eccles St, Dublin 7. However, after he has been placed under general anaesthetic it was seen that an irrigation extender was not present missing and the the procedure could not go ahead. Mr Keegan was informed of this when he awoke, resulting in some distress and his teams of nurses had to calm him down.

Mr Keegan advised the judge that was very drowsy upon being sent home from the hospital and went on to experience stomach discomfort and nausea in the days after the cancelled procedure.

The Court was informed told that Mr Keegan – who lives at Woodbine Park, Raheny, Dublin 5 was represented in court by Barrister Conor Kearney, appearing with Mark Tiernan, of Tiernan & Company solicitors – had been taken into the hospital’s short stay procedure unit at 6.45am on the morning it was scheduled. At around 7.30am he was given an anesthetic by a specialist. Following this, when set of instruments for the procedure had been unpacked, it was see that the irrigation extender was not not there.

After searching for the item, the surgical team realised that the missing piece of equipment had been sent for repair around one month earlier.  No substitute had been arranged. When Mr Keegan came around from the anaesthetic around 8.30am, he was informed the unfortunate mistake.

A new procedure was arranged for December 5, some ten days later. Mr Keegan told the Judge that he had been very concerned in the run-up to the new operation. He said he was very nervous about having another anaesthetic.

Judge O’Connor ruled that there had been negligence on behalf of the Mater Private Hospital in what he termed an ‘unfortunate incident’. The Judge added that Mr Keegan had been upset and concerned following after the cancelled procedure and was fortunate that there had been no longer-term consequences of the mistake.

Judge O’Connor awarded Keegan €10,000 hospital procedure compensation the Mater Private Hospital.

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

Unauthorized Treatment Results in Dental Compensation Settlement

An unauthorized treatment which left a patient, Roisin Mimnagh, scared to smile has resulted in an undisclosed dental compensation settlement at the Circuit Civil Court.

Mrs Mimnagh, through her legal counsel, David McParland, told the Court that was a person who is typically happy with her appearance. She book a treatment appointment with Dr Anna O’Donovan, Griffith Avenue, Dublin, to have an incisor realigned. McPartland told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that “To her horror she (Mr Mimnagh) 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”.

Mr McPartland said that Ms Mimnagh initially was of the belief that she was going to have some white filling applied to her tooth to make it look straighter. Following the realisation that this is not what had taken place she became extremely traumatised. Instead the tooth had been filed away and an amalgam or composite applied to it, leaving her unhappy with how she looked and afraid to smile. She, the Court was informed, had not given her permission for this course of treatment to be carried out.

In order to address this the dentist completed some remedial work in 2013, not long after the initial treatment. Ms Mimnagh, according to Mr McParland, is still wearing an appliance on her tooth. She has also been informed, by a dental expert, that she requires further realignment work.

Dr O’Donovan was represented in Court by Barrister Sarah Corcoran who informed the Judge that her client had entered a full defence to Ms Mimnagh’s legal action. They accepted that written consent for the specific treatment for her tooth had not been provided by Ms Mimnagh. She also advised the Judge that the case before the court was not one of deciding liability but a matter of assessing damages.

As the latest expert medical report was more than three years old Judge Linnane said that she would be unable to assess damages. She requested that both parties conduct talks to try and settle the case. Talks were conducted and Mr McParland soon after returned inform the Judge that the case had been settled and could be struck out. There was also an order for Ms Mimnagh’s legal costs to be taxed in default of agreement.

Posted in Dentist Negligence in Ireland

Compensation Claims for Vaginal Mesh Likely

2017 saw a number of vaginal mesh claims being initiated in Ireland is it is likely, following recent media reports in the United States and United Kingdom, that there will be a number of new cases submitted as the topic has made the headlines once more.

In 2017 legal counsel for the women who took the legal actions in Ireland stated that they (they women) only became aware of the cause of their suffering after they witnessed new reports from the UK on the matter.

There is currently a ban on vaginal mesh being used medically in the UK. In the USA more than  100,000 people have submitted compensation claims due to injuries and illnesses that the believe was caused by the use of vaginal mesh.

UK specialist chemist Dr Chris DeArmitt, has aided almost 9,000 women settle their vaginal mesh compensation claims. He said, during a recent interview with Sky News, that the use of the material is unsafe: “There are two main reasons why any plastics material expert will tell you just obviously that this is a bad material and I have never heard anyone who disagrees with me. I see an absolute disregard for proper testing. Testing is way less than you would see on a vacuum cleaner or a washing machine. It’s shocking. I’ve never seen anything like it in my career.”

The ban in the UK will remain active until such time as the results of an independent safety review are fully properly examined. The report was begun following report of thousands of women suffering from constant pain in the aftermath of the use of vaginal mesh being used as a treatment form for them. Common painful symptoms of complications with vaginal mesh included constant pain, sex being uncomfortable, daily work tasks being difficult due to pain and mobility issues. This pain is caused when vaginal mesh cuts through organs, impacting tissue and can lead to causing permanent nerve damage.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US prohibited the trading of all mesh intended for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse. This decision was taken due to the suffering of many women who had the procedure being witnessed.

National Institute for Care and Excellence (NICE) in the UK revealed that they are considering reinstating vaginal mesh a treatment option once the current ban is lifted. A release from NICE remarked: “The benefits and risks of each type of treatment are laid out to ensure every woman is fully informed. Where the evidence is limited, this is also highlighted. There are a number of procedures recommended by NICE, including mesh procedures.”

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Hospital Injury in Ireland, Medical Instruments Negligence

Birth Injury Compensation Settlement of €10.5m for 12-year-old Boy

At the High court a €10.5million birth injury compensation settlement has been approved for 12-year-old Samuel Forde who took a personal injury compensation action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) in relation to the manner his birth at Sligo General Hospital in August 2006.

Samuel’s mother, Deborah Forde, submitted the medical negligence action on his behalf. Des O’Neill SC, legal representative for the forde family, alleged that there was a failure to promptly diagnose and act upon the condition of the child before delivery. He added that there was an alleged failure to admit Mrs Forde to hospital on August 19, 2006 so that she could be monitored and acted upon appropriately. Finally, he said that the pregnancy was permitted to to continue well past its due date resulting in the failure to deliver the baby at the proper time.

Legal representative for the HSE denied all of these claims.

Presiding Judge Justice Kevin Cross was told how Mrs Forde had attended a check up on August 15, 2006 which had not brought up anything unordinary. However, when she returned two days later, as she thought she might be in labour, a CTG was applied to monitor the baby’s heartbeat . Mrs Forde, who now lives at Glenview Park, Grange, Co Sligo was then informed that she could return home after a number of tests were completed.

When a midwife called Mrs Forde on August 20 to check in she (Mrs Forde) said that there was less movement she was told to return to hospital immediately. A CTG and checks were completed again and Samuel was delivered through cesarean section August 20,2006. Following delivery he had to be intubated.

The High Court in the High Court was informed that Samuel has cerebral palsy which has completely impacted his life. His requirements for the rest of his life are thorough extensive including lifelong care.

The Forde family began court proceedings following Samuel’s medical card being  withdrawn a few years ago.

Following the approval of the settlement Solicitor David O’Malley for the Fordes said the family wished for Samuel to live a life which is “as happy and as included as possible. Hopefully the financial settlement can bring him that stability. Mediation was a very effective mechanism to resolve this case”.

Justice Kevin Cross said the Fordes had cared for their their son “over and above” and he wished “the loving and protective family” going forward.

Posted in Childbirth Negligence in Ireland, Hospital Negligence in Ireland

€10,000 Compensation for HIV Positive Woman after Dentist Stopped Treating Mid-Procedure

€10,000 in compensation has been awarded to a HIV positive woman after a dentist refused to treat her, coming to a halt while she was in the dentist chair and already under anaesthetic, after she told him that she had HIV status.

The dentist has also committed to providing a written apology to the woman in question.

Before her appointment for a dental treatment the woman had made her HIV status known to the dental clinic. However, during the procedure, and after she had been given a dose of anaesthetic, the woman was asked by the dentist as to whether she was currently taking medication. She told the dentist that she is taking her HIV medication. He, the dentist, then withdrew his service due to his perceived concerns regarding contamination.

The woman told the hearing: “I felt embarrassed, ashamed and I was really stressed and very anxious. Playing the whole scenario in my head again made me feel a kind of rejection. I went in confident thinking they knew my status and it was okay for them to help me, but after what happened it has had a huge impact on my self-esteem. It took me back to the time when I first found out about my HIV status. The woman added: “I had no idea that what they had done was wrong until after speaking to my doctor. I feel like going to the WRC helped me, as I believe the clinic is now aware that their conduct towards me was wrong. I feel better hoping they will not treat anyone that way, not only because they agreed compensate me, but also because staff will receive awareness training.”

The dental clinic has committed to implement an appropriate company policy that reflects their dedication to equality and will ensure that comparable incidents do not come up in the future. The dental clinic will also carry out equality and diversity, including HIV, training to its full time staff.

The woman said that she will now will also withdraw her discrimination case under the Equal Status Act which she had submitted the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, Emily Logan stated: “Dentists, just like other service providers are obliged to meet the commitments of the Equal Status Acts which protects people against discrimination. The clear message from this settlement is discrimination of this nature is not acceptable and should be challenged.”

HIV Ireland stated: “Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Some dentists and dental services continue to refuse treatment to people living with HIV, incorrectly believing that there are special places to treat people who are HIV positive.”

 

Posted in Dentist Negligence in Ireland

Birth Injury Negligence Compensation Settlement of €32m for Boy (9)

A nine year old boy Benjamin Gillick, who sustained life-long brain injuries as a result of a delayed diagnosis of infection following surgery by medical staff has had a €32 million medical negligence compensation award approved at the High Court.

He sustained the injuries when his mother was giving birth to him as only a small child just an infant. Benjamin’s parents, Miriam and Andrew Gillick, expressed their wishes that with the judge would not give his approval to the birth injury compensation settlement as they felt that were of the opinion that the amount is not enough. This is due to the fact that it will not be enough to assist him for the remainder of his life. They said: “It leaves us with a shortfall that will be imposed on ourselves or our children, or possibly our grandchildren.”

Judge Justice Kevin Cross told the court that a small percentage of the birth injury compensation, under €500,000, was being awarded due to the life changing injuries inflicted on Benjamin during his birth. The rest of the birth injury compensation settlement is made up of the costs associated with Benjamin’s complex treatment, educational and housing needs for the rest of his life.

The family, who previously had an address at Knockmaroon Hill, Chapelizod, Dublin now reside in London.  As party of the personal injury compensation action Benjamin claimed that  the hospital was negligent with regard to the review, diagnosis, medical treatment and care of the shunt infection.

In giving his approval for a final settlement offer of €25m, Judge Cross stated: “When the headlines come to be written it should be noted that no one is getting a bonanza”.

The boy’s father, Andrew Gillick, informed Judge Cross that he is extremely concerned in relation to the proposed settlement award not being sufficient when compared to rates of return on investment in England, where the family now live. He added that there has recently been a similar case ruled on in the UK where the compensation award was approximately €45m due to the costs of medical-carers, therapists, aids and appliances, transport and education. Mr Gillick sobbed as he spoke of of his son’s “gruelling regime”daily that includes therapy for hours each day and that the necessity for  at least two carers. He added that their estimations in relation to their son’s needs were not inflated.

 

 

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

Meath Man Awarded €3.5m Personal Injury Compensation for Car Crash Injuries that have Confined him to Wheelchair Since 2014

A man who sustained life-changing injuries in a road crash five years ago has settled his personal injury compensation action for €3.5m at the High Court today.

The man, 59-year-old Finian McKenna, has been restricted to life in a wheelchair due to the road traffic accident that took place five years ago.

Mr McKenna told the High Court that he had been driving his car near Dunganny, Trim, Co Meath, when a Farrelly Transport vehicle crashed into him as it was  overtaking, or attempting to overtake, a number of parked vehicles. It was also alleged that the owners of the parked vehicles had left them in a dangerous and unsafe place. All of these claims were denied by the defendants.

Mr McKenna experienced many fractures and was in hospital for 12 months. His injuries meant that he is restricted to a wheelchair. Justice Cross told the High Court that Mr McKenna is now being cared for by his brother, Shane.

Justice Cross said Mr McKenna sustained serious injuries through no fault of his own. The settlement figure had been agreed to be all parties so the case was before the court for assessment of damages only.

With an address at Beechmount Gardens, Navan, Co Meath, Mr McKenna sued Castlekeeran Transport Ltd, operating as Farrelly Transport, with offices at Carnaross, Kells, Co Meath. Mr McKenna also made a road accident compensation claim against the driver of the other car, Marius Anuska of Riverstown, Kilmessan, Co Meath, due to the car crash that occurred on November 4, 2014. Other compensation claims were also submitted against the owners of two vehicles parked where the accident took place.

Mr McKenna was wished all the best for the future by Mr Justice Cross as his approved the settlement.

Posted in Hospital Injury in Ireland

€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