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€300k Medical Negligence for Family of Woman who died aged 52

€300,000 medical negligence compensation has been awarded to the family of the woman who died due to sepsis after contracting a rare infection in the aftermath of a hernia operation. The High Court approved the award which came in tandem with an apology for the failures in the care for a 52-year old mother.

Ms Susan McGee, a mother of two children, passed away at the Hermitage Clinic in Dublin on July 24, 2013 just over ten days after undergoing a hernia operation. Following the operation Ms McGee contracted a rare Clostridium Difficile infection in her bowel. A verdict of medical misadventure was the conclusion delivered at the inquest into Susan’s untimely death.

Melissa Barry, daughter of the deceased, told the High Court saying that her mother’s death resulted in a lot of trauma for her family. She stated: “Our mother is missed every day by her entire family and a large circle of friends. We owed it to our amazing mam to seek answers and justice. We hope she can now rest in peace while we can rebuild the rest of our lives.”

Ms Barry added: “The Hermitage Medical Clinic has reassured us new procedures are in place for the handover of patients and we hope lessons have been learned. Patients need to be assured that details of their medical condition and care plan are properly communicated  if they are being put in to the hands of a different medical professional. Hospital staff must also listen to and act on the concerns of a patient’s family.”

Melissa Barry of Grange Rise, Stamullen, Co Meath and her brother John McGee , Bretton Woods, Skerries Road, Rush , Co Dublin submitted the medical negligence compensation action against the Hermitage and consultant surgeons Arnold Hill and Colm Power in relation to the manner of the treatment provided to their mother in 2013.

The defendants admitted liability, the High Court was informed. Ms McGee suffered complications following hernia surgery in July 2013. Her usual surgeon was not in the clinic due to annual leave when she (Ms McGee) went back to the clinic after becoming ill. The High Court was told that a different doctor was not available to treat her as he was not on site at the time. Following, and despite, the best efforts of the surgeons that were present Ms McGee passed away on 22 July 2013.

As he approved the hospital negligence compensation settlement, Justice Mr Justice Robert Eagar, expressed his condolences to the woman’s family.

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Dead Woman’s Family Awarded €650,000 Childbirth Death Compensation

The family of a woman, Nora Hyland, who died following an emergency caesarean section have been awarded €650,000 personal injury compensation at the High Court.

The family of Ms Hyland took the legal action to seek compensation for nervous shock following the death of their wife and mother. The compensation action was settled for €650,000 in favour of the husband and son of Nora, who passed away at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) soon after having an emergency caesarean section.

Nora Hyland, a 31-year-old originally from Malaysia, died on the operating table at the NMH, Holles Street, Dublin, on February 13, 2012, just three hours after undergoing an emergency caesarean during the delivery of her son Frederick. The hospital refused to accept liability as part of the compensation settlement and denies the allegations.

The Hylands’ legal counsel, Ms Sasha Louise Gayer, spoke in the High Court and said that the Hylands are happy with the compensation settlement but were too upset to be present in court. Ms Gayer informed the court that baby Frederick was delivered successfully. However, not long after this Ms Hyland began to lose a lot of blood.

A subsequent inquest later delivered a verdict of medical misadventure. Ms Hyland had to wait almost 40 minutes for a blood transfusion after a severe bleeding.

In presenting his ruling on the cause of death, Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell ruled that the  cardiac arrest which occurred due to severe post-partum haemorrhage was mainly to blame. However, he unable to confirm that the delay in Mrs Hyland receiving blood was a “definite” cause of her death.

In returning this verdict the inquest was told that a labelling mistake in the laboratory caused a 37-minute delay in Mrs Hyland being given a blood transfusion. Another problem was that no emergency supply units of O-negative, the universal blood type, were maintained in operating theatres at the National Maternity Hospital at the time of the issue. Steps were put in place and a request for blood was processed just after midnight.

Mr Hyland (42) from Station Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin had taken the wrongful death in childbirth legal action against the NMH for nervous shock in relation to the traumatic circumstances at the time the incident.

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€750k Hospital Failure to Diagnose Compensation for Teacher who Suffered Brain Aneurysm

Ms Lorraine Duffy, a Galway teacher who collapsed with a brain hemorrhage four years after being given the all clear in a brain scan has settled a High Court action for €750,000 failure to diagnose compensation.

Ms Duffy’s legal representative barrister John O’Mahony told the High Court she had attended the Galway hospital for a brain scan in 2008 as she was suffering from severe headaches particularly over her left eye. She was told that brain scan showed nothing abnormal and she was given the all clear. Four years later, in 2012, Ms Duffy was out running in 2012 when she collapsed.

Counsel said that at this point it was discovered that there was an aneurysm in the right side of the brain which should have shown up in the initial brain scan in 2008. Due to the failure to act on the 2008 brain scan Ms Duffy now has deficits because of injuries to the brain.

Ms Duffy (42) of An Creagan, Barna, Co Galway, took the failure to diagnose action against the Bon Secours Hospital, Renmore Road, Bon Secours Ireland Ltd and Bon Secours Health System Ltd of College Road, Cork which manages the Galway hospital. In addition to this she sought compensation from consultant radiologist Dr Davidson and Alliance Medical Diagnostic Imaging Ltd of Raheen, Co Limerick which was managed the diagnostic imaging at the Galway Hospital at the time of the 2008 scan.

Ms Duffy was given the wrong diagnosis of migraine headaches to be managed with medication. However, in the aftermath of her collapse in 2012 the matter was further investigated at a Dublin hospital and Ms Duffy was found to have been suffering from aneurysms.

Due to the brain injuries she suffered during the aneurysms Ms Duffy can now only do her job part time and will suffers from the consequences for the remainder of her life.

An apology by consultant radiologist, Dr Ian Davidson, of Bon Secours Hospital, Galway, was read to the court in which he acknowledged and apologised for “the failings” in respect of his care that led to the delay in diagnosis of Lorraine Duffy’s inter cranial aneurysm.

Dr Davidson stated: “I would like to offer my sincere sympathy and regret for the upset and harm you have suffered arising from the subarachnoid hemorrhage in May 2012”.


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High Court Approves €1m Birth Injury Compensation for 13-Year-Old Girl

A birth injury compensation action against the Health Service Executive has been settled for €1m in the High Court after a girl, now 13-years-old, was not diagnosed with a serious hip abnormality at birth. The condition was not being diagnosed for six years and the young girl, Nyomi Millea Melvey, now suffers from a permanent disability.

The father of the young girl, Colin Melvey,  told the court that Nyomi is only able to walk for a period of three to five minutes before her hips become locked into position. He said his daughter has done really well considering the challenges she faces, but she has to work harder because of her disability. Mr Melvey went on to say that Nyomi will also require at least three hip replacement operations throughout her life.

The condition that Nyomi suffers from, known as bilateral hip dysplasia was diagnosed she was six-years-old and it was alleged that the options to address this were extremely limited due to the failure to diagnose this earlier.

Nyomi’s Legal Counsel, Mr Liam Reidy, spoke in the High Court saying that she was born with the condition where both hips were displaced, but that this was not diagnosed by the physicians present at the birth. Nyomi, they said, had been medically examined by medics on different times and there was an alleged failure to recognise the abnormality that she displayed.

Taking the failure to diagnose compensation action through her mother Wendy Millea, Nyomi sued HSE for compensation. Ms Millea had received antenatal care during her pregnancy at Waterford Regional Hospital. Nyomi was born on January 20, 2005, with bilateral hip dysplasia and the attending medical staff failed to recognise the condition. The conditions was not recognised until February 2011.

Additionally it was argues that there was a failure to recognise the underlying hip problem from simple observations despite the physical appearance of the infant and worries made known by her mother along with an alleged failure to refer her for evaluation by an orthopaedic surgeon (or a suitably qualified professional healthcare person).

The claims were denied by the HSE.

Mr Justice Paul Butler approved the settlement of €1,000,000 in birth negligence compensation.

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€850k Wrongful Death Compensation for Man Who Lost Wife

Donal O’Sullivan, a widower who took a wrongful death compensation legal case against a doctor and the Health Service Executive (HSE) after his wife passed away just a day after a blood test indicated that she had low levels of potassium, has settled his High Court compensation action for €850,000.

The court was advised that mother-of-four Maureen O’Sullivan, who was in her 50s, should have been immediately taken to hospital after a test indicated she had dangerously low levels of potassium. As a result of this Mr O’Sullivan, from Crookstown Co Cork, sued Dr Therese Crotty of Main Street, Ballincollig, Co Cork, and the HSE in relation to the wrongful death of his wife on November 8, 2011.

It was claimed that on November 4, Ms O’Sullivan had attended Dr Crotty as she was experiencing palpitations. A blood test was completed and taken for analysis at Cork University Hospital. On November 7 the result showing  severe hypokalaemia, a low level of potassium, was sent to the Doctor’s clinic in Ballincollig.

Dr Crotty, it is claimed, did not plan to admit Ms O’Sullivan to hospital immediately upon learning she suffered severe hypokalaemia. Neither did she advise the patient that this is what she was suffering from.

Additionally, it was claimed that the HSE did not properly indicate the importance of the abnormal blood test results to the doctor and that there was an absence of efficient systems of communication. Along with this, it was stated by Mr O’Sullivan’s legal representatives that the HSE had depended on a clerical officer to send the test results that they required urgent clinical attention.

In a letter that was read aloud to the court, Dr Crotty and the HSE apologised for their part in the events that led to Ms O’Sullivan’s passing. It referred to the O’Sullivan family on behalf of Dr Crotty remarking: “I deeply regret the tragic circumstances that led to the death of your wife, mother and sister Ms Maureen O’Sullivan. I apologise unreservedly for the part I played in the events leading up to her death. I am acutely conscious of the pain and suffering which this has caused to you all.”

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€40,000 Hospital Negligence Award Following Death of Girl Due to a Hole in her Heart

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has issued an apology unreservedly to the family of a little girl who died due to a hole in her heart being not being diagnosed. The HSE will also be required to pay over €40,000 hospital misdiagnosis compensation to her parents.

Aimee Keogh was two-years-old when she died in an ambulance as she was due to be transferred from Limerick Hospital to Our Lady’s Hospital for Children, Crumlin for a cardiac procedure on July 10, 2014.

Aimee had first been taken to hospital in March 2014 for febrile convulsions caused by tonsillitis. Consultant radiologist Padraig O’Brien said that after reviewing her X-ray, he was suspicious of a septal defect – a hole between the chambers of the heart.

Despite this, Aimee was not taken to a paediatric cardiologist and further negligence was experienced when a paediatric neurologist and a treating paediatrician did not review or recognise irregularities in the X-ray, the Keogh family alleged.

Four months later, Aimee’s major congenital heart defect went undiagnosed until her condition worsened in the days leading up to her death.

Aimee had experienced 17 seizures before being taken to hospital on July 9 and was being made ready for transfer to Dublin for a paediatric cardio echo procedure that can be carried out only by a paediatric cardio consultant based at Crumlin Hospital in Dublin.

An inquest into the little girl’s passing was told her case was never examined by a paediatric cardiologist, but paediatric consultant Anne Marie Murphy, who was responsible for Aimee’s case, said she discovered the X-ray to be normal and a multi-disciplinary team who looked over the same X-ray over three weeks later also found it to be regular.

When this happened there were no paediatric cardiologists located outside Crumlin and children could have to wait up to two years for an appointment.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly directed the Health Service Executive to pay misdiagnosis compensation of €40,000 to the Keogh family.

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Woman (20) Receives €1.9m Interim Payout in Cerebral Birth Injury Case with HSE

An interim pay out settlement with the HSE of €1.95m has been approved for a 20-year-old woman who suffers with cerebral palsy due to complication with her birth

Born just about 40 minutes after her healthy twin sister in Wexford General Hospital, the High Court heard that Shauni Breen has cerebral palsy, is confined to a wheelchair and suffers from spastic diplegia.

Ms Breen will have to return to the Hight Court in five years’ time when her future care needs will be recalculated.

No living in Meadowbrook, Riverstown, Glanmire, Co Cork, Ms Breen took her cerebral palsy compensation action against the HSE due to the handling of the complication that occurred during her birth on December 30, 1997. The High Court was advised that, that when her pregnancy was at 33 weeks and three days, the twins’ mother Marie Foley was admitted to Wexford General hospital at 5am. Ms Breen’s twin Nicole was born healthy soon after this at 6.10am.

It was also alleged that the second stage of labour in Shauni Breen’s delivery lasted 40 minutes. Ms Breen’s legal team alleged that the management of her birth was incompetent. The added that there was a clear failure to have an anaesthetist present at the delivery of Shauni. There also should have been, it was argued, that a full team medical team in attendance, ready and prepared for every possible outcome. This was probably due to the failure to recognise this as a high-risk labour.

The HSE, in denying these allegations, stated that the manner in which the birth was managed complied with general and approved practice in 1997. Additionally, it was also argued by the HSE that everything was operated in a fashion entirely consistent with standard medical practice in a district hospital maternity unit.

The baby, according to legal counsel, had an abnormal presentation and said that she should have been delivered by caesarean section in the 15 minutes following the birth of her sister, Nicole. Instead, Shauni Breen had to be resuscitated and was transferred to another hospital for treatment.

High Court Judge Justice Kevin Cross approved the interim cerebral palsy settlement.

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Medical Negligence Compensation Settlement Agreed in Relation to Ectopic Pregnancy Death

Alan Thawley, whose wife Malak passed away during surgery for an ectopic pregnancy at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) in 2016 has settled his High Court action for medical negligence compensation.

Mrs Thawley, aged 34 at the time of her death was expecting her first when she died at the Holles Street hospital on May 8, 2016.

In the initial hearing legal representatives for Mr Thawley advised the court last week that his wife’s death was a result of a “cascade of negligence”. Liam Reidy SC, representing Mr Thawley argued that the doctor who carried out the surgery on Malak, a teacher and a US citizen, was an inexperienced junior surgeon and was not adequately supervised.

He added that the ineptitude of the physicians could be highlighted particularly when a decision was taken to cool Mrs Thawley’s brain with ice. Upon discovery that there was no ice in the hospital two doctors were sent across the road to a pub to get ice as there was none in the hospital.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr was told, when the case came back before the court on Tuesday, that it was settled for compensatory damages only and aggravated or exemplary damages were not involved. No other specific details of the medical negligence settlement were provided to the court.

Commenting outside the court Alan Thawley said that he was happy to have come to a settlement after a long and harrowing process. He said: “There is no compensation that could replace the profound loss of my wife’s untimely and needless death”.

Mr Thawley went on to say: “The proceedings were brought forth to expose the cascade of negligence demonstrated by the hospital”.

He also committed to working with the Department of Health’s Ministerial Inquiry in a bid to prevent other people suffering, as he has, in the future.

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