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Woman (60) has €5m Settlement for Medical Misdiagnosis Compensation Approved

Bernadette Surlis (60) from Co Roscommon has had her €5m medical misdiagnosis compensation settlement, in her litigation against the Health Service Executive (HSE) settled.

The legal action was in relation to the treatment she was given at Sligo General Hospital in 2013. Senior Counsel Mr Cush stated, if had Ms Surlis been speedily and correctly treated in November 2013, she would not have suffered the debilitating injuries that have changed her life completely. Mr Cush advised the court that liability was admitted by the Health Service Executive.

When she attended Sligo General Hospital on November 3, 2013, Ms Surlis was complaining of a headache, vomiting and had a dilated left pupil on her eye. However she was designated as category three ‘triaged’ case and left to wait for treatment for an additional three hours. ‘Triaged’ means that she was not treated as an immediate emergency requiring quick attention.

Doctors looked over her for symptoms of glaucoma and sent her home. However, she returned the very next day and, at this time, the severity of her ailments was “appreciated for the first time”.

Ms Surlis, who resides at Drinaum, Strokestown in Co Roscommon was moved to Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital on November 5 as she experienced a hemorrhage and severe/permanent injury. Mr Cush said the opinion of experts was that Ms Surlis, who now needs permanent care, will only slightly improve over the course of her life. She is aware of the severity of her condition and has difficulty communicating. However she can do so with the help of her close family members – three grown children and four sisters who live close to her.

It is claimed that if she had been sent to Beaumont when she first attended the Sligo Hospital she could have been treated in a correct manner and made a complete recovery and rehabilitation.

Now restricted to a wheelchair and living in a nursing home, Bernadette Surlis may realise her wish to return home in the future. Mr Justice Kevin Cross was advised that the misdiagnosis negligence settlement makes this a real possibility.

Judge Mr Justice Kevin Cross remarked that the medical misdiagnosis compensation settlement was a “reasonable and very good one”.

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