Injury Compensation News
You are entitled to claim compensation for delayed diagnosis if it can be proven that you sustained a loss, injury or deterioration of an existing condition due to the negligence of a medical practitioner who owed you a duty of care. Delayed diagnosis can lead to medical conditions which could have been avoided had the medical practitioner not shown a poor professional performance, and it is advisable that you discuss any compensation claim for delayed diagnosis with an experienced solicitor.
Tuesday, 3 December, 2013
A family from Dromahair in County Sligo have heard the settlement of their claim for fatal hospital errors approved in the High Court following the death of Dhara Kivlehan three years ago from avoidable multiple organ failure.
On 20th September 2010, Dhara (29) was admitted to Sligo General Hospital for the delivery of her first child after having experienced painless contractions for two days. Dhara was two weeks passed her due date and, on examination, was exhibiting signs of pre-eclampsia – high blood pressure and fluid retention around her ankles (also known as oedema).
Blood taken from Dhara showed that she had abnormal kidney and liver function (a further symptom of pre-eclampsia), but no action was taken due the results of the blood tests not being communicated to Dhara´s doctors for twelve hours. The morning following her admission, Dhara gave birth to her son -Dior – by Caesarean Section and was transferred to a side room off of the main Maternity Ward.
While Dhara was in the side room, her condition started to deteriorate, but it was not until 4.45pm the following day that she was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at Sligo General Hospital. At 11.00pm that evening, Dhara´s condition became critical and she was air-lifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast to receive specialist treatment.
Dhara died four days later due to multiple organ failure secondary to HELLP syndrome – a variant of pre-eclampsia – but, as yet, both the Belfast coroner and the Sligo coroner have declined requests to conduct a post-mortem.
Dhara´s husband – Michael – believing that the symptoms of haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and a low latelet count were not identified and treated in time to prevent his wife´s death, made a compensation claim for fatal hospital errors against the Health Service Executive (HSE) – alleging that the Sligo general Hospital had breached its duty of care and that the care provided for Dhara once she had given birth to Dior was negligent.
The HSE denied that there had been a failure in the duty of care by Sligo General Hospital in the treatment that Dhara had received, but Michael persevered with his claim, and a court hearing was scheduled to determine whether the HSE had a case to answer.
Shortly before the claim for fatal hospital errors was due to be presented in court, the HSE acknowledged that there had been shortcomings in the care provided for Dhara both before and after the birth of her son, and an €800,000 settlement of compensation for fatal hospital errors was negotiated.
At the High Court in Dublin, the family heard a statement read out to them in which the HSE apologised unreservedly for the errors that had been made which led to Dhara´s death and offered their condolences to Michael and Dior.
Following the apology, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of compensation for fatal hospital errors, and also used the opportunity to criticise the HSE for “holding out until almost the bitter end” before admitting liability, and consequently causing the Kivlehan family unnecessary distress.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Delayed Diagnosis, Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Tuesday, 20 August, 2013
A report compiled for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) indicates that the majority of GP malpractice claims for compensation are due to missed or delayed diagnoses.
The report, which was prepared by the Centre for Primary Care Research in Dublin, was undertaken to identify which areas of primary care should be focused on when planning future educational strategies and developing risk management systems for primary healthcare professionals.
It revealed that GP malpractice claims often featured missed diagnoses and medication errors, with the delayed diagnosis of breast cancer and colon cancer being responsible for more malpractice claims against GPs than any other form of medical negligence.
Lead researcher of the report – Dr Emma Wallace – acknowledged that family doctors are practicing more defensively as the number of malpractice claims in Ireland increases, and this has led to more patients being unnecessarily referred to consultants – enabling an identifiable condition to deteriorate.
In addition to the misdiagnosis of breast and colon cancer, the report identified other cancers which were often misdiagnosed or identified later than they should have been. These included cancers of the skin, female genital tract and lungs; while children with appendicitis and meningitis were most likely to be misdiagnosed.
Admitting that GP malpractice claims are “not a perfect substitute for adverse events”, Dr Wallace – who is herself a GP – said that when malpractice claims are made against GPs, the doctors facing litigation often experience higher levels of stress – reducing the level of service they are able to offer and placing more patients at risk of a missed diagnosis or medication error.
She commented “this systematic review is timely considering the increased interest in focusing on primary care as a way of improving patient care and safety” and hoped that the review provided an insight into the types and causes of adverse effects in clinical practice which would reduce the number of GP malpractice claims in Ireland.
Posted in Delayed Diagnosis, Doctor Negligence Claims, Hospital Negligence Claims, Incorrect Medication Claims, Medical Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Wednesday, 17 July, 2013
The High Court has heard that a family has settled its compensation claim against the HSE, made after the death of Eileen Maloney at Mayo General Hospital in February 2009.
Eileen (69) from Pullathomas in County Mayo had been admitted to Mayo General Hospital on 1st February 2009 complaining of a severe pain in the abdomen. Because it was the weekend and no doctor was available, the family alleged that an X-ray showing an obstruction in her small intestine was not reviewed and her perforated bowel misdiagnosed.
It was not until the following Friday that Eileen was given a CT scan – which revealed a tumour had developed in her large bowel – but despite Eileen being in constant pain, surgery was not scheduled until the Thursday of the next week. The family claimed in their action against the HSE that, had this scan be reviewed properly, Eileen´s perforated bowel would have been identified and surgery brought forward.
Eileen died five days after the operation to remove the tumour, and the family alleged in their compensation claim against the HSE they were told that Eileen – who was suffering from cancer – would have survived the surgery, and would have had at least six months to live, had the correct diagnosis been made at the time of her admission and the appropriate treatment provided.
Mayo general Hospital and the HSE denied their responsibility for Eileen´s wrongful death and disputed the family´s right to claim compensation for mental anguish due to hospital negligence. However, at the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Peart was told that an agreement had been reached which would see the compensation claim against the HSE settled for €50,000 without admission of liability.
After hearing the circumstances of Eileen´s death – which Mr Justice Michael Peart described as “very, very tragic” – the judge approved the settlement of the family´s claim.
Posted in Delayed Diagnosis, Doctor Negligence Claims, Failure to Diagnose, Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Friday, 5 July, 2013
The husband of Savita Halappanavar has announced that he is seeking compensation for hospital negligence after the HSE report was release into the circumstances of her death in October last year.
Savita died at the University Hospital in Galway one week after having attended the Accident and Emergency department complaining of acute back pain. She was found to be in the process of miscarrying her 17 week foetus and was sent home.
Savita returned to the hospital later in the day as the pain had not subsided and was admitted under the care of consultant doctor Dr Katherine Astbury. Savita´s waters broke the following morning and requested a termination, but was told to “await events” as an abortion was not possible while there was still a foetal heartbeat.
Savita´s condition continued to deteriorate – during which time she was misdiagnosed by Dr Astbury as suffering from sepsis after the consultant doctor had failed to read the patient notes made the previous evening. Dr Astbury eventually consulted with a senior colleague about a termination, but a scan later revealed that Savita´s baby was already dead.
After being moved into theatre, Savita spontaneously delivered her deceased baby and was later moved into intensive care suffering from septic shock. The following morning it was discovered that Savita had developed severe septicaemia due to E.coli ESBL, due to which she became critically ill and, on Sunday October 28th, she suffered a cardiac arrest and died of multiple organ failure.
A verdict of medical misadventure was delivered at the inquest into Savita´s death, but a subsequent Health Service Executive investigation failed to identify who was to blame for the negligent treatment Savita received or acknowledge liability for her death; prompting family and friends to describe the investigation as a “whitewash”.
In order to get answers to the questions which remain after the investigation, Savita´s husband – Praveen Halappanavar – has made a claim for compensation for hospital negligence against the University Hospital Galway and the HSE alleging that the hospital failed to treat, failed to follow up blood tests, and failed to diagnose.
The University Hospital Galway and the HSE have not yet indicated whether they will acknowledge liability before a court date is arranged to resolve the claim for hospital negligence compensation.
Posted in Delayed Diagnosis, E.coli Infection Claims, Failure to Diagnose, Hospital Death Settlements, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Wednesday, 24 April, 2013
The family of a girl who suffered brain damage at her birth due to hospital obstetric negligence have had their claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff resolved at the High Court in Dublin.
Alex Butler (8) from Dunmore East, County Waterford, was born at the Waterford Regional Hospital in April 2005; however, due to the hospital´s failure to have an adequate number of properly trained competent medical staff to deal with the Alex´s delivery, and to ensure that an adequate and properly competent obstetrician was available, Alex´s delivery was delayed by twelve minutes – during which time she suffered brain damage which led to permanent tetraplegic injury.
Through her mother – Sonya – Alex made a claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff at the hospital, alleging that her consultant obstetrician had been allowed to take leave at the same time as the hospital´s two other obstetricians and that the hospital had employed a locum obstetrician without ensuring that he competent. It was further claimed that Sonya´s pre-operative assessment was substandard and there was a failure to recognise the necessity for a Caesarean section.
The High Court heard that the Health Service Executive (HSE) admitted liability for Alex´s injuries, and the claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff against the consultant obstetrician – John Bermingham – and locum obstetrician – Mahmud Khbuli – were dismissed. A representative from Waterford read out an apology for the mismanagement of Alex´s birth and accepted that the mistakes that were made should never have happened.
The Court also heard that an interim settlement of Alex´s claim for birth injuries due to a lack of staff amounting to €1.4 million had been agreed upon between the HSE and Alex´s parents. The compensation settlement is to be reviewed again in two years when an assessment of Alex´s care needs for the future has been made, and by which time it is hoped that the option of a structured settlement is available.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Brain Injury Compensation, Children's Injury Claims, Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Delayed Diagnosis, Doctor Negligence Claims, Failure to Diagnose, Hospital Negligence Claims, Structured Injury Settlements - No Comments »
Tuesday, 23 April, 2013
The High Court has approved a settlement of compensation for the wrongful death of a child after a statement was read out in court apologising for the death of the child due to a delayed diagnosis.
Kaiden Costello was admitted to Temple Street Children´s Hospital in April 2009 when he was just six months old, as his concerned mother – Kate – had noticed her son was off his food. Kaiden was diagnosed with a failure to thrive, but two months later was re-admitted and an MRI revealed that his condition was due to a brain tumour. Kaiden underwent surgery to remove the tumour in July 2009, but he died three days later.
Kaiden´s mother made a claim for the wrongful death of a child due to a delayed diagnosis against the hospital and HSE; alleging that, had an MRI been conducted when Kaiden was first admitted to the hospital and the tumour identified sooner, her son could have received chemotherapy treatment that would have extended his life by five to ten years or undergone surgery earlier to remove the tumour.
In the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that liability for the failure to diagnose Kaiden had been admitted by Temple Street Children´s Hospital and a settlement of compensation for the wrongful death of a child had been agreed upon amounting to €180,000.
As part of the settlement agreement, an apology was read out by CEO of Temple Street Children´s Hospital – Mona Baker – who said that she understood that no apology or compensation arising from Kaiden´s death could negate the continuing heartache that the family must feel every day.
Judge Cross thereafter approved the settlement of compensation for the wrongful death of a child which comprised of €145,000 for Kate Costello´s nervous shock as a result of the death of her son and €35,000 relating to the wrongful death due to a delayed diagnosis.
Posted in Brain Injury Compensation, Children's Injury Claims, Delayed Diagnosis, Hospital Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Tuesday, 12 March, 2013
A woman, who underwent a symphysiotomy procedure at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in 2000, has been awarded €591,297 compensation for injuries from symphysiotomy by the High Court.
Tracey Nelson (45) from Navan in County Meath underwent the procedure prior to the delivery of her second child, when medical staff at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda failed to correctly diagnose the symptoms of symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD).
After suffering for many years with the physical discomfort from the symphysiotomy, Tracey underwent surgery in 2004 to stabilise her condition and again, in 2007, had to have a spinal cord stimulator fitted – since when Tracey has been relatively free of pain.
However, as Tracey related to Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill at the High Court, she has also suffered emotionally due to the negligence of the medical staff who failed in their duty of care to manage her pregnancy.
Tracey told the court she had developed fibromyalgia – where she had constant pain in her muscles and joints – and due to the pain, started to drink alcohol heavily. This resulted in the break-up of her marriage and, in turn, to depression.
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital denied their liability for Tracey´s injuries, but Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill ruled that he was satisfied from the medical evidence there was a failure to diagnose SPD on February 2nd when Tracey attended the hospital complaining of pain in the pelvic area.
The judge said there was no doubt that the “primary cause” of Tracey´s physical and psychological injuries was the negligence of the HSE and “terrible consequences” of it. “I am quite satisfied that the failures in this regard fell substantially below the standard of care to be expected of doctors practising obstetrics in a maternity unit such as Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda,” he said.
Awarding Tracey €591,297 in compensation for injuries from symphysiotomy, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill said that he was also satisfied the doctors and midwives who attended Ms Nelson were “oblivious” to her SPD condition and consequently took no precautions to prevent the risk of avoidable injury during the course of her labour.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Compensation for Long Term Injuries, Delayed Diagnosis, Doctor Negligence Claims, Failure to Diagnose, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Negligence Claims, Mental Stress Claims, Psychological Injury Claims, Surgical Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Thursday, 31 January, 2013
A widower, who lost his wife after she had given birth to their son via a C-section procedure, has made a claim for death after Caesarean against the Health Service Executive.
Dhara Kivlehan (29) from Dromahair, County Sligo, gave birth to her son – Dior – on 21st September 2010 at Sligo General Hospital via a Caesarean section operation but, soon after the procedure, developed multiple organ failure secondary to HELLP syndrome – a variant of pre-eclampsia. Dhara was rushed to Belfast´s Royal Victoria Hospital to receive specialist treatment, but died on September 29th.
Dhara´s husband – Kevin Kivlehan (33) – asked the Belfast Coroner John Lecky for an inquest into his wife´s death, but his request was turned down. Now he has asked the Coroner for Sligo to investigate the circumstances of his wife´s death and made a claim for death after Caesarean against the Health Service Executive (HSE).
No decision has yet been made by the Sligo Coroner, but the HSE is expected to defend themselves against the claim for death after Caesarean, and the alleged breach of duty and alleged negligence claimed by Kevin Kivlehan, after the symptoms of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and a low latelet count were allegedly not identified and treated in time to prevent his wife´s death.
A High Court decision on whether the HSE have a case to answer in respect of the claim for death after Caesarean is expected soon.
Posted in Birth Injury Claims, Delayed Diagnosis, Hospital Death Settlements, Medical Negligence Claims, Surgical Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »
Monday, 29 October, 2012
A former student, who suffers severe spasticity of the limbs and has eye movement problems allegedly due to the negligence of a Galway hospital, has had his delayed diagnosis of a brain tumour claim heard in court.
Seamus Walshe Jnr (27) of Taylor´s Hill, Galway, was a 21-year-old student studying construction studies when he first started suffering problems with his eyes in 2006 whenever he looked upwards. His symptoms deteriorated to the point where upward eye movement left him feeling nauseous and he would start to vomit.
Seamus attended Galway University Hospital with his problems, but was told after a neurological examination that there was nothing seriously wrong with him and he should get used to having problems with his eyes.
Seamus returned to Galway University Hospital later in the year when he started to develop pains in his head and underwent a scan which revealed a brain tumour. He was referred to Dublin´s Beaumont Hospital where he underwent surgery to remove the tumour in May 2007.
However, complication during the brain tumour operation resulted in severe haemorrhaging around the brain and Seamus was kept in intensive care for nine weeks following surgery. When he started to recover, he was transferred back to Galway University Hospital in November 2007.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court heard that in September 2008 Seamus was sent to the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dún Laoghaire but, because of the alleged negligent treatment he had received, was confined to a wheelchair with spasticity of the limbs and had problems moving his eyes.
Seamus made a compensation claim for the delayed diagnosis of his brain tumour through his father, Seamus Snr, claiming that had he had a scan when he first attended the Galway University Hospital, the tumour would have been diagnosed earlier and he would have been referred to the Beaumont Hospital sooner.
A second claim was made against the Beaumont Hospital for choosing to perform brain surgery when treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy had resulted in long term survival rates of up to 90 percent.
Both the Health Service Executive – on behalf of Galway University Hospital – and the Beaumont Hospital denied their liability for Seamus´ injury, but Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that a negotiated settlement of 2.5 million Euros in compensation for the delayed diagnosis of a brain tumour had been agreed without admission of liability.
The settlement of compensation is intended to provide Seamus with the care he needs for the next three years, after which time a structured periodic payment system would provide for his future care if legislation was passed by the Government in time to allow such a payment procedure.
Posted in Brain Injury Compensation, Delayed Diagnosis, Doctor Negligence Claims, Failure to Diagnose, Hospital Negligence Claims, Medical Negligence Claims - No Comments »
Thursday, 22 December, 2011
A woman, who was deprived of her inheritance due to her mother-in-law´s grief at the loss of her son, has won a High Court judgement and almost 1.6 million Euros in medical malpractice compensation against the medical practitioners responsible for his wrongful death.
Michael Davoran (47) from Ballyvaughan, County Clare, died in August 2003 from a chronic colitis condition. His widow Grace claimed in an action against the Health Service Executive (HSE), consultant gastroenterologist John Lee and consultant surgeon Oliver McAnena, that Michael continued to be treated with medication after being admitted to University College Hospital, Galway in July 2003, even though his condition was deteriorating.
Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill at Dublin High Court heard that, because of the alleged medical malpractice of the three defendants, Michael had to undergo surgery on August 21st 2003 after it had been noticed that his condition was not improving, and then again on August 29th when an emergency laparotomy was performed due to Michael´s health getting worse despite the surgery. Michael remained in the Intensive Care Unit at University College Hospital, Galway, until two days later, when he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest due to multiple organ failure.
Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill at Dublin High Court heard that, as a result of Michael´s alleged wrongful death, his mother, Maura, changed her will in her grief to disinherit Grace and her four children from the family´s 623 acre Ballyalben Farm. Maura subsequently died, leaving the family farm and its income to her daughter, while Grace and her family – who had worked Ballyalben Farm all their lives – now had to rely on the income from the adjacent, much smaller Ballycahill Farm.
The defendants did not deny liability for Michael´s death, but argued that it was a disagreement between Michael´s widow and mother which was responsible for the disinheritance. Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill rejected the argument, stating that even if this was the case, it could be attributed to the mother´s distressed state of mind after her son´s death. Furthermore, he stated, he was satisfied that had it not been for his wrongful death, Michael´s dependents would have inherited the Ballyalben Farm.
Finding in favour of Grace´s claim for medical malpractice compensation, the judge awarded her 1,312,275 Euros for the loss of inheritance of Ballyalben Farm, 184,271 Euros in loss of income from farming the estate and 50,436 Euros to represent half the estimated loss that Michael´s dependants incurred from rental income – assuming that they would have moved out of the Ballycahill Farm after Maura´s death and rented it.
Posted in Delayed Diagnosis, Medical Negligence Claims, Wrongful Death Claims - No Comments »