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.