All Posts Tagged: emergency misdiagnosis compensation

Judge Approves Settlement of Meningitis Misdiagnosis Claim

A judge has approved the €5.6 million settlement of a meningitis misdiagnosis claim made on behalf of a young girl who had both legs avoidably amputated.

On the morning of 10th July 2005, the parents of the three-year-old girl phoned the South Doc out-of-hours doctor´s service in Cork, and expressed concerns about their daughter´s symptoms of a rash on her stomach, a high temperature, drowsiness and vomiting.

They were told to bring her into the South Doc clinic and, at 5:00am that morning, the girl was examined by Dr Leon Britz, who diagnosed tonsillitis and sent the family home. However, the young girl´s condition deteriorated in the following hours, and the family returned to the clinic at 9:30am.

On this occasion, a diagnosis of meningitis was made. The girl was taken to the A&E Department of Cork University Hospital, where she was administered antibiotics, and later transferred to Our Lady´s Children´s Hospital in Crumlin, where tragically she had to have both legs amputated below the knee. The girl, now fifteen years of age, underwent 132 operations over the following twelve years.

Through her mother, the girl made a meningitis misdiagnosis claim against Dr Britz and South West Doctors on Call Ltd – the providers of the South Doc out-of-hours doctor´s service. In the meningitis misdiagnosis claim it was alleged the girl suffered “profound consequences” due to the misdiagnosis and the opportunity was missed to administer antibiotics at an earlier stage.

Liability was admitted by the defendants and a settlement of the meningitis misdiagnosis clam amounting to €5.6 million was agreed between the parties. As the legal action had been taken on behalf of a minor, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be finalised to ensure it was in the girl´s best interests.

Consequently, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the sequence of events on 10th July 2005 and of the “profound consequences”. After hearing that the girl was doing well at school and just about to sit her Junior Cert exams, the judge approved the settlement – congratulating her parents for the care they had given the girl and noting that the outcome could have been far worse.

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Family Hear Apology from Hospital for Failing to Diagnose Abdomen Cancer

The family of a young woman who died due to medical negligence have heard an apology for failing to diagnose abdomen cancer read out by the hospital responsible for her death.

Thirty-one year old Sharon McEneaney died from a cancerous tumour in her abdomen in April 2009 – eighteen months after she had first attended the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda complaining of abdominal pain.

No investigation action was taken in the emergency room, and Sharon´s tumour went undiagnosed for over a year until – due to the intervention of former TD Dr Rory O´Hanlon – a biopsy was performed in June 2008.

By then it was too late for Sharon from Carrickmacross in County Monaghan to benefit from conventional cancer treatments, and she died nine months later.

An investigation carried out by the Health Service Executive (HSE) after Sharon´s death made thirty-eight separate recommendations to prevent the hospital failing to diagnose abdomen cancer in the future.

In January 2012, a hearing of the Medical Council of Ireland´s Fitness to Practise Committee found Sharon´s attending physician – Dr Etop Samson Akpan – guilty of a poor professional performance.

At the High Court in Dublin, the General Manager of the Louth & Meath Hospital Group – Margaret Swords – read out an apology to Sharon´s family, admitting that the hospital had failed Sharon.

Ms Swords stated that the hospital was making progress in making the changes required by the HSE´s report into Sharon´s death but, five years later, six of the HSE´s recommendations are still to be put into action.

The court was also told that a settlement of compensation for the hospital failing to diagnose abdomen cancer had been agreed between the hospital and the McEneaney family amounting to €62,500.

€10,000 of the settlement will cover the costs of Sharon´s funeral and other expenses connected with her death, while Sharon´s mother – Jane – is to receive €27,100, and the remainder to be shared between Sharon´s four siblings.

Closing the hearing, Ms Justice Mary Irvine commended Sharon´s family for their tenacity and courage, and commented “You have shown marvellous fortitude in the face of such a loss”.

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Family Awarded Compensation for a Fatal Hospital Misdiagnosis

The family of an eight-year-old boy, who died after being mistakenly discharged from hospital with a streptococcal infection, have been awarded €160,000 in the High Court in compensation for a fatal hospital misdiagnosis.

Richard de Souza from Athy, County Kildare had been taken to the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise by his parents in February 2011 due to developing a lump on the left side of his body while suffering from chicken pox.

The doctor in the A&E Department diagnosed Richard as having an infection and discharged him, despite the patient displaying a high temperature and high pulse and heart rate, prescribing a three-day course of antibiotics.

Later that evening Richard complained of being thirsty and became delirious, and the following morning collapsed on the floor of the family home. Richard´s mother summoned an ambulance, but when paramedics arrived, Richard was already in a state of cardiac arrest was declared dead on arrival at the Midland Regional Hospital.

After discovering that Richard´s cause of death was a streptococcal infection which led to toxic shock syndrome, and that it could have been successfully treated by intravenous antibiotics had Richard been admitted to hospital, Ralmon and Flavia de Souza made a claim for compensation for a fatal hospital misdiagnosis.

Following an investigation into the claim, the Midland Regional Hospital and the Health Service Executive admitted liability for Richard´s wrongful death and a settlement of compensation for a fatal hospital misdiagnosis was negotiated to include the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder both parents had been diagnosed with following the tragic and avoidable death of their son

 At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard a representative of the Midland Regional Hospital read out an apology to the family before approving the €160,000 settlement of the claim for a hospital fatal misdiagnosis.

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Emergency Misdiagnosis Compensation for Woman

The family of a Northumberland woman, who died after being misdiagnosed by an ambulance paramedic, has been awarded 40,000 pounds in emergency misdiagnosis compensation.

Denise Hopper (40), was taken to hospital after being involved in a car crash in December 2007, in which she broke several vertebrae and suffered fractured ribs. The paramedic who treated her at the scene also diagnosed that she was suffering from dehydration, when in fact she had deep vein thrombosis. Denise consequently received the wrong treatment on her arrival at the hospital, and two weeks later suffered a heart attack and died.

Following an investigation into her death, Denise’s two children sought legal advice and filed an action against the North East Ambulance Service for failing to demonstrate adequate clinical skills. The North East Ambulance Service accepted there had been a failure to make an accurate diagnosis, but did not admit liability for Denise’s death. Nonetheless, an emergency misdiagnosis compensation payment of 40,000 pounds for Denise’s children was agreed between legal representatives of the two sides.

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