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Judge Approves Interim Compensation for a Brain Injury due to a Hospital Misdiagnosis

A judge has approved a €2.5 million interim settlement of compensation for a brain injury due to a hospital misdiagnosis in favour of a six-year-old boy.

On 24th August 2012, the parents of Eoghan Keating took their son to the A&E Department of Waterford Regional Hospital as he had developed a rash and was suffering from a fever. Eoghan was diagnosed with mumps and discharged with his parents being told to give him ibuprofen and Carpol.

During the night, Eoghan´s condition deteriorated. He became lethargic and a swelling in his neck increased in size, causing his concerned parents to call the caredoc GP service. The caredoc service advised Eoghan´s parents to take their son back to Waterford Regional Hospital.

On his return to the hospital, Eoghan was correctly diagnosed as having a chicken pox infection. He was intubated and ventilated before later being transferred to a hospital in Dublin. Tragically, the failure to correctly diagnose chicken pox and treat his infection with antibiotics on his first visit to hospital resulted in Eoghan suffering a brain injury due to which he is now tetraplegic and unable to talk.

Through his mother – Martina Keating of Upper Dunhill in County Waterford – Eoghan claimed compensation for a brain injury due to a hospital misdiagnosis against the Health Service Executive (HSE). In the legal action, it was claimed that there had been a failure to admit Eoghan when his parents first took him to the A&E Department, and a failure to identify the signs of a significant evolving infection.

After an investigation into the allegations, liability for Eoghan´s condition was admitted by the HSE and a €2.5 million interim settlement of compensation for a brain injury due to a hospital misdiagnosis was agreed. As the claim had been made on behalf of a child, the settlement first had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Eoghan´s best interests.

Consequently the circumstances leading up to Eoghan´s brain injury and its consequences were related to Mr Justice Kevin Cross at the High Court. At the hearing, the General Manager of Waterford Regional Hospital – Richard Dooley – read an apology to the family for the “deficiencies in care provided to Eoghan”, while the little boy´s mother told Judge Cross “We grieve every day for the life Eoghan has lost”.

The judge approved the interim settlement of compensation for a brain injury due to a hospital misdiagnosis and adjourned the case for two years. In two years´ time, the family will have a further interim settlement of compensation approved unless a system of periodic payments has been introduced by the Irish government in the meantime.

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Man Settles Claim for Falling from a Hospital Trolley

A man, who allegedly suffered a back injury while in the care of the Adelaide and Meath Hospital, has settled his claim for falling from a hospital trolley.

In September 2015, Anthony Whelan (64) – a caretaker from Tallaght in Dublin – attended the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght complaining of a severe post-operative pain. It was decided to admit Anthony overnight in order to conduct a second operative procedure the following morning.

Anthony was put onto a hospital trolley to be transported to a ward. When no bed could be found to accommodate him, Anthony was moved into the corridor near a nursing station on the hospital trolley and screens placed around him so that he could get some rest.

While Anthony slept, he fell from the trolley – hitting his back against the base of the screens as he landed on the floor. An x-ray failed to reveal any injury to Anthony´s back, lungs or chest, but he was given a painkilling injection and moved to a private room.

After undergoing treatment to resolve his initial complaint, Anthony sought legal advice and made a claim for falling from a hospital trolley against the Adelaide and Meath Hospital. In his claim, Anthony alleged that he had not received appropriate management and care.

The hospital acknowledged that Anthony had fallen from a hospital trolley due to negligence, but disputed the extent of his injury and the amount of injury compensation he was claiming. Consequently the case was scheduled to be heard at the Circuit Civil Court for the assessment of damages only.

However, soon after the hearing had commenced, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was informed that the two parties had come to an agreement on a settlement of the claim for falling from a hospital trolley. The judge was told that the settlement was within the jurisdiction of the District Court and that costs had also been agreed between the two parties.

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