Resolution of Wrong HIV Test Results Claim Delayed

A woman, who was incorrectly informed that she had the HIV virus, will have to wait for the resolution of her wrong HIV test results claim after a High Court judge reserved judgement on the case.

Michelle Kenny from Crumlin in Dublin attended the St James Hospital in Dublin on 17th August 2010 due to feeling unwell on her return from a holiday in Majorca. After a chest x-ray and an ECG led doctors to believe that Michelle had a blood clot on her lung she was admitted to the hospital where she remained for a week.

Following her discharge, thirty-five year old Michelle returned to the Outpatients Clinic for an assessment on October 6th; where she underwent a blood test for TB. Michelle also consented to being tested for HIV, and the following week the doctor rang her to give her the results of the tests.

After explaining that she was clear of TB, the doctor said that the blood test for HIV indicated that she was positive for the virus and that she should undergo a further test to make sure. Michelle was devastated and, despite three further tests indicating that she did not have the virus, she withdrew from her social environment and suffered symptoms indicating a nervous shock.

When it was discovered that the original test results were not hers, Michelle contacted a solicitor and made a wrong HIV test results claim for compensation against St James Hospital – alleging that the mix-up had caused her severe emotional distress.

The hospital contested the claim – arguing that the error had been identified within a short space of time, and that Michelle had suffered no loss or damage as a result. Michelle and her legal representatives pursued the claim for wrong HIV test results compensation, and the case was heard by Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon at the High Court.

After hearing the details of Michelle´s compensation claim for the wrong HIV test results, and the defence offered by St James´ Hospital, Judge O´Hanlon reserved judgement on the case for a later date.