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BreastCheck Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims as Woman (59) Sues Health Service Executive

Mother of two Siobhan Freeney, who attended a mobile BreastCheck clinic to have a mammogram conducted as she was concerned about a lump on her breast, has taken a BreastCheck misdiagnosis compensation claim against the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Ms Freeney alleges that the results of her mammogram in June 2015 was read incorrectly. A number of day after the mammogram was completed she received a letter from the BreastCheck service to advise her that the mammogram results were clear. Just six months later, Ms Freeney was diagnosed with cancer in her right breast and she now alleges that the original mammogram should have returned a result of highly suspicious for cancer and she should have been sent for further assessment.

Ms Freeney had a mammogram in the mobile clinic when it came to her local town Gorey, Co Wexford and she claims that this test she have revealed a cancer diagnosis.

Ms Freeney’s legal representative Jeremy Maher SC told the court that due to this delay in her diagnosis, Ms Freeney says that they chance to spot the cancer at an early stage was missed. Mr Maher SC informed the court that they are submitting the claim due to the alleged delay in the diagnosis of Ms Freeney’s breast cancer. The breast cancer was not actually diagnosed until December 2015.

It is their contention it ought to have been diagnosed six months earlier when Ms Freeney attended the mobile clinic.

Furthermore it was alleged that Ms Freeney was not referred for additional assessment after the tests that were conducted at the mobile clinic in Gorey. They said that a triple assessment including a clinical assessment mammogram and ultrasound would have taken place and identified the cancer if this had been done.

The compensation claim said that there was a failure to failure to advise, treat and care for her in a proper skillful, diligent and careful fashion along with an alleged failure to use reasonable care skill and judgment when reviewing her mammogram taken on June 17, 2015. Finally it was claimed that there was an a failure to identify that features in her mammogram of her right breast taken that June were suspicious of cancer. Had her cancer been detected in the test that was conduct in June 2015, her counsel said Ms Freeney would have undergone a mastectomy.

All the claims are denied by the HSE. Counsel for the defence claimed that, if the cancer has been discovered in the earlier test, the cancer would have been smaller and she would not have required radiotherapy and chemotherapy. He said their case was the mammogram taken in the mobile clinic was incorrectly reported as indicating no indication of cancer. Specialists for their side he said will say that if Ms Freeney had been sent on for additional assessment the cancer would have been identified.

The case before Ms Justice Niamh Hyland continues.

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Record €23m Payout Made by the Health Service Executive to 14-year-old Brain-damaged Boy

A final once-off payment of €20m had been agreed in a birth injury compensation settlement between and Health Service Executive (HSE) and a 14-year-old boy who allegedly suffered brain damage at birth in a Cork hospital.

The boy in question, Lee Gibson of Carrigaline, Co Cork, suffers with cerebral palsy and cannot talk and has to use a wheelchair. It brings to a record €23m the total paid to the young boy and the personal injury compensation settlement against the HSE is the largest so far in the State for this type of legal action.

In the legal action it was claimed that Lee suffered multiple injuries to his brain due to a lack of oxygen and the effect of an untreated infection suffered by his mother. It was also alleged that there was delay of between 91 and 106 minutes before delivery by emergency caesarean section once the decision to go ahead with one had been made. There was also a claim that there was failure to treat the case as an emergency case and to give a candid explanation for what happened and why it did. The claims were denied but liability was later settled in the case.

Approving the final figure, President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly paid tribute to the teenager’s mother, Aileen Gibson. He said: “Lee makes the best of a life that is possible because of the care of his mother, grandmother and other family support.”

Four years ago, an interim settlement payment of €2m was approved for Lee and in 2017 a further interim payment of €1m was made. On those occasions, liability was also settled in the case.

Speaking outside court, Ms Gibson said that the day was bittersweet. She said: “I must say that today is bittersweet. All the money won’t change what has happened to Lee. We will have to live with that pain forever.”

 

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Family of Woman Who Died After Receiving Half Epilepsy Drug Dose Awarded €260,000

The family of Kathleen Leech who passed away due to a charting mistake lead to her only getting half her necessary epilepsy medication treatment for 23 days have settled their High Court action over her wrongful death for €260,292.

The 68-year-old mother of five adult children from Co Wexford died at Peamount Healthcare nursing home, Newcastle, Co Dublin on June 30 2012 after her caring staff failed to recognise that she had only received a single daily dose of Keppra, an anticonvulsant to stabilise her epilepsy, despite the fact that she should have also been allocated a second daily dose.

Her husband, Gregory Leech senior,  took a legal action for wrongful death compensation. In a separate action her children – Noreen, John, and Gregory Leech junior, and Marian Dalton and Kathleen Caulfield – sued for nervous shock.

Along with admitting liability, Peamount Nursing Home issued an unreserved apology for failings in care provided to her. In a letter read out in court on Thursday, the nursing home gave Mr Leech an unreserved apology for failings in care of his wife and for the distress and upset it had caused to the family.

Legal counsel for the family, Barney Quirke SC, informed the court that Mrs Leech suffered a stroke in November 2011. Sadly she never recovered enough to be sent home from Tallaght Hospital but a place was found for her in Peamount in June 2012.

Counsel informed the Court that, following a thorough investigation and a subsequent inquest, a number of major changes have been implemented by the management of Peamount to ensure that a mistake like this does not occur again.

On the day she arrived at Peamount Ms Leech was taking 21 medications. However, in a sad turn of events, the pharmacy was closing and it was not recorded that she required to be administered with two doses of Keppra. Due to this Ms Leech went 23 days without her second daily dose. Following suffering a major seizure and was returned to Tallaght Hospital. However, it was too late to save her a she had developed an infection and passed away on June 30.

The case was settled for €260,292 and all of Mrs Leech’s children agreed to waive their claim to the statutory €25,000 payment to the family in relation to the wrongful death of their mother. Instead the award is to go to their father for him to manage.

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Roscommon Woman awarded €5m over Misdiagnosis Negligence Compensation

Bernadette Surlis, (60), from Co Roscommon has had a settlement of €5 million approved in her action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) in relation to misdiagnosis negligence in her care and treatment at Sligo General Hospital during November 2013.

Mrs Surlis from Drinaum, Strokestown in Co Roscommon, is now confined to a wheelchair and lives in a nursing home.

The settlement means she should be able to realise her wish to return home, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told.

Senior Counsel Mr Cush said it was accepted that had Ms Surlis been appropriately and promptly diagnosed and treated, she would not have suffered the injuries. He told the court that liability was admitted.

Ms Surlis, then aged 57, attended Sligo General Hospital on November 3, 2013, as she was suffering from headache, vomiting and dilated left eye pupil, but was triaged as category three and left waiting for three hours. ‘Triaged’ means she was not treated as an immediate emergency and was left waiting to be seen for three hours.

Physicians reviewed her for glaucoma and discharged her. However, she re-attended the next day when the seriousness of her condition was “appreciated for the first time”.

Ms Surlis was transferred to Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital on November 5 as she had suffered hemorrhage and severe and 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 attended the hospital, she could have been treated successfully and made a full recovery.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the misdiagnosis compensation settlement was a “reasonable and very good one” and that he hopes the money would provide the best compensation possible for Ms Surlis to live out her life in her own home.

 

 

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