Hospital Birth Injury Compensation of 5.25 Million Euros Approved

A boy who sustained cerebral palsy due to a mismanaged birth has had the settlement of his hospital birth injury compensation approved by the High Court in Dublin.

Kyle McMahon from Nenagh in County Tipperary was born at the St Munchin’s Regional Maternity Hospital in Limerick the day after his mother – Theresa – had been admitted to the hospital suffering from raised blood pressure. Labour had been induced to speed up Kyle´s birth, however during his delivery Kyle suffered severe foetal stress and was starved of oxygen. After his birth, Kyle was diagnosed as suffering from cerebral palsy and now needs round-the-clock care.

In a claim for hospital  birth injury compensation made through his mother, it was alleged that Kyle´s injury could have been avoided with a better handling of the situation. Neither St Munchin’s Regional Maternity Hospital nor the Health Service Executive refuted the allegations, and a compensation package was agreed in respect of Kyle´s hospital negligence claim.

The High Court in Dublin heard that the case was before them for approval of the compensation settlement as Kyle is still under eighteen years of age.

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Increased Awareness Leads to Rise in Negligence Claims Against NHS

Increased awareness of patient rights has resulted in a dramatic increase in claims for medical negligence against the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). According to government figures, the amount of claims made in the past five years has increased 5,697 to 8,655 per year, and has forced the NHS Litigation Authority to seek additional funding from the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansbury.

Tom Fothergill, financial director of the NHS Litigation Authority, admitted that advertising by “No Win, No Fee” solicitors had contributed to the public body´s financial shortfall and had added a premium to legal costs. However, he quickly pointed out that legislation which linked the wages of claimants´ carers to earnings rather than inflation has also led to increased payouts.

With approximately 100 compensation claims for medical negligence a year relating to birth injury compensation, and the average value of each claim close to 6 million pounds in the lifetime of the child, an improvement in the survival rates of brain damaged babies – who will require a lifetime of care – has also placed significant strain on the NHS Litigation Authority´s budget.

A further 185 million pounds is required by the NHS Litigation Authority to prevent it running out of money by the end of the fiscal year, a sum which has been rubber-stamped by Mr Lansbury and health minister Lord Howe. After the announcement of the bail-out Lord Howe said “Following a review of claims, we have made additional funds available to the NHS Litigation Authority in order to make sure that those claimants who are entitled to compensation receive it in a timely way.”

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Medical Council Investigates GP Malpractice Claim Against A Dublin GP

The Medical Council is investigating a GP malpractice claim against a Dublin GP who allegedly over-prescribed psychoactive benzodiazepines.

It is claimed that Dr Mohammed Ahmed Khan, who practices in Wicklow Street, Dublin, prescribed up to four times the correct dosage of drugs such as Valium to patients suffering from anxiety and depression. The Medical Council are also looking into allegations that Dr Khan failed to make adequate enquiries as to whether any of the patients he was prescribing these drugs to were already being treated by another doctor.

In addition Dr Khan has been accused of poor professional performance due to his alleged failure to refer patients with a dependency on benzodiazepines to drug treatment centres or specialist substance misuse practitioners and also due to his reliance on prescription drugs where an alternative form of treatment may have been more beneficial to the patient or in their best interests.

The Medical Council regulates doctors to practise medicine in the Republic of Ireland and its statutory role, as detailed in the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, is to protect the public by promoting and better ensuring high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence among registered medical practitioners.

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Cancer Victim Wins Hospital Misdiagnosis Negligence Claim

A woman who had her stomach erroneously removed after being misdiagnosed with cancer has won her hospital misdiagnosis negligence negligence claim and received an undisclosed settlement from Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust.

The 74-year-old female from Rugeley, Staffordshire, underwent the surgery in 2004 after doctors informed her that a tumour in her stomach was malignant. She later found out that her test results had been misinterpreted and that the tumour was benign.

Due to her operation and long recovery period the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, has lost a significant amount of weight and suffers from painful digestive problems. She has been unable to continue the volunteer work she did prior to the operation and now needs regular care and assistance.

The undisclosed out-of-court hospital misdiagnosis negligence claim settlement has been calculated to include the psychological trauma of being told that she had a life-threatening tumour inside of her and the decrease  in her quality of life due to the unnecessary surgery. It will enable the woman to receive an improved level of care in the future and support to help her recover from her emotional ordeal.

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Infant Medical Accident Leads to 10,500 Euros Compensation

A four year old child, who suffered a burn injury to his foot in a medical accident when he was just a few days old, has had an infant medical accident compensation settlement of 10,500 Euros approved in the Circuit Civil Court.

Fabien Napierski of Kinlough, County Leitrim, was just four days old when the medical accident occurred at his home in 2007. A nurse, who was warming his foot prior to conducting a blood test, used water from a freshly boiled kettle without first testing its heat.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, was told that the Health Service Executive had agreed to pay Fabien 10,500 Euros in compensation for the medical accident without admission of liability and the case was before him for approval of the settlement.

After hearing the facts of the claim, and considering the amount of the award, Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved the infant medical accident settlement as was presented to him.

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Medical Malpractice Clinical Indemnity Scheme Criticised for Granting Anonymity

The Clinical Indemnity Scheme has been criticized in The Irish Times today for giving anonymity to medical professionals. The State Claims Agency has followed the Clinical Indemnity Scheme since 2002 for all medical malpractice cases taken against hospitals and doctors. The State Claims Agency ‘takes responsibility for the vicarious negligence by act or omission on the part of doctors, nurses, midwives and allied healthcare professionals”

The State Claims Agency has informed solicitors that it is ‘neither necessary nor appropriate” to include the names of doctors in medical malpractice documentation.

This means that negligent doctors are essentially protected from public record unless the lawsuit is heard in the High Court.  The vast majority of medical malpractice compensation cases, like most other types of personal injury cases, are settled prior to going to court .

This effectively means that medical professions are granted anonymity for their medically negligent actions.

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Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Compensation Agreed for Boy

A young boy, who has left brain damaged and sufferingdue to negligence at his birth, has had his  cerebral palsy birth injury compensation settlement approved in the High Court.

Dontay Crooks (6) from Oxford was born in the city´s John Radcliffe Hospital in 2005, but difficulties developed during his birth which resulted in the young boy being starved of oxygen and sustaining a cerebral palsy injury as a result.

The High Court in London was told that Dontay now has little control over his limbs and is unable to walk. He is also visually impaired, has severe learning difficulties and suffers from bouts of epilepsy.

In the claim for cerebral palsy birth injury compensation made against the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust by Dontay´s mother, it was claimed that with better management of the birth Dontay would not had suffered such traumatic injuries and would be able to maintain a more normal life.

The John Radcliffe Hospital and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust accepted liability for Dontay´s injuries and agreed to an immediate lump sum settlement of 1 million pounds with further annual payments on a rising scale which will reach 140,000 pounds per year when Dontay reaches the age of eighteen.

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Cerebral Palsy Negligence Settlement by HSE in High Court

A seven year old boy, who was born with spastic cerebral palsy due to the negligence of nursing staff prior to his delivery, has had a partial cerebral palsy negligence settlement of more than one million Euros approved in the High Court.

Shane Kenny from Ballyduff, County Waterford, sued the Health Service Executive through his mother Catherine, due to alleged negligence in the events leading up to his birth at the Erinville Hospital, County Cork, on November 2nd 2004.

In the cerebral palsy negligence compensation claim, Mr Justice John Quirke at the High Court heard that there had been a failure to act on the results of a cardiotocogragh trace (CTG) which showed that the boy´s foetal heart rate was abnormal. Due to this oversight, Shane was delivered by forceps, which resulted in a partial hypoxic event.

The court was told that that, although Shane is able to attend mainstream education, he is not expected to achieve the required cognitive capacity to sit State exams and will never be capable of independent living.

Liability for Shane´s birth negligence injury was accepted by the Health Service Executive, and an interim settlement of 1,004,000 Euros had been agreed between the parties to cover past costs and expenses, and to provide care and education for Shane for the next two years.

Approving the cerebral palsy negligence settlement, Mr Justice John Quirke stated that he hoped legislation would be introduced within the next two years to facilitate periodic payments to those who had suffered catastrophic injury. The cerebral palsy negligence settlement does not account for Shane´s future loss of earnings, which will be agreed in a hearing to be scheduled next year.

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1.4 Million Euros Cerebral Palsy Settlement Approved in Court

A young woman, who was found to have cerebral palsy shortly after her birth, has had a  of 1.4 million Euros cerebral palsy compensation settlement approved in the High Court.

Deborah French (24) of Ballymitty, County Wexford, was found to be suffering with cerebral palsy shortly after her birth in August 1987 at Wexford General Hospital. Her parents brought a claim for birth injury compensation against consultant obstetrician Harry Murphy and the South Eastern Health Board, alleging that Dr Murphy had been negligent in the hours before and during Deborah´s birth.

The case was settled without admission of liability by the defendants, a course of action supported by Mr Justice John Quirke as he approved the cerebral palsy settlement, stating that the conflicting opinions offered by medical experts may have put the family at risk of getting no compensation in a trial.

The judge recommended that the funds be released to Deborah´s parents in annual increments of 100,000 Euros.

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HSE Wrongful Death Claim Settled

The High Court in Dublin has heard that a claim for HSE wrongful death compensation has now been settled for an undisclosed sum by the Health Service Executive in the case of David O´Leary.

David of Ballinascarthy, County Cork, was 12 years of age when he died of acute myocarditis in February 2007, after having been diagnosed with a winter vomiting bug by doctors at the Cork University Hospital.

David´s parents claimed in their action against the hospital and the Health Service Executive that David had tried to explain to doctors how ill he was and that he had difficulty breathing. They alleged that, had the doctor´s listened to what their son was trying to tell them, his condition would have been diagnosed and David would still be alive today.

The Health Service Executive denied the claims, but had expressed in a letter to the parents its sincere regret for any deficiencies or inattention in the care of their son. The letter, which was read out to Mr Justice John Quirke at the High Court also stated that the family could take solace from the “lessons that have been learned by all concerned with David´s care”.

Mr Justice John Quirke was told that the medical negligence claim against the Health Service Executive had been settled for an undisclosed sum without admission of liability, and had included the maximum amount payable of 33,000 Euros for the nervous shock and mental distress of the parents as a result of David´s death.

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