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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

€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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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

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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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Settlement of Girl´s Claim for the Misdiagnosis of Meningitis Approved in the High Court

A High Court judge has approved the settlement of a girl´s claim for the misdiagnosis of meningitis made against the County Kerry-based South Doc service.

Early in the morning of July 10th, 2005, the concerned parents of a three-year-old girl telephoned the South Doc out-of-hours medical service, worried about their daughter´s condition. The previous eventing she had been drowsy and vomiting, and had developed a rash on her stomach. She was also running a high temperature and had suffered overnight from diarrhoea.

The parents were told to bring their daughter into the clinic on Kinsdale Road in Cork, where she was attended by Dr Leon Britz. After a short examination, Dr Britz diagnosed that the young girl was suffering from tonsillitis and told the family not to worry. However, four and a half hours later, the family returned to the clinic, concerned that the girl´s condition had deteriorated and that the rash on her stomach had reddened and spread over a wider area.

The girl was accurately diagnosed as suffering from meningitis and she was referred to the Emergency Department of Cork General Hospital. At Cork General Hospital, the diagnosis of meningitis was confirmed and the girl was administered antibiotics before being transferred to Our Lady´s Children´s Hospital in Dublin. Due to the delayed diagnosis, the girl had both legs amputated below the knee.

After seeking legal advice, the girl´s mother made a claim for the misdiagnosis of meningitis against Dr Britz and the South Doc service on her daughter´s behalf. It was claimed in the legal action that the misdiagnosis of meningitis had resulted in an avoidable delay in the administration of antibiotics which had “profound consequences” for the young girl.

Dr Britz and the South Doc service admitted that mistakes had been made in the diagnosis, and agreed to a settlement of the claim for the misdiagnosis of meningitis amounting to €5.6 million. As the claim for the misdiagnosis of meningitis had been made on behalf of a child, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in the girl´s best interests.

At the approval hearing last week in the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told of the circumstances leading up to the misdiagnosis and the consequences for the girl. The judge approved the settlement of the claim for the misdiagnosis of meningitis, noting that the outcome could have been far worse, and praising the girl´s parent for the care they had given their daughter over the years.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Final Settlement of Compensation for the Failure to Refer Approved in Court

A final settlement of compensation for the failure to refer a pregnant mother with an alarming rise in blood antibodies has been approved in the High Court.

Isabelle “Izzy” Sheehan was born on 29th November 2004 in the Bon Secours Maternity Hospital in Cork suffering from severe spastic quadriparetic cerebral palsy. One month before her birth, a blood test on Isabelle´s mother – Catherine – had revealed an “alarming rise” in blood antibodies that presented a risk of injury to the unborn child; however, consultant obstetrician Dr David Corr had failed to refer Catherine to specialist in foetal medicine.

Now eleven years of age, and despite being described as “bright and intelligent”, Isabelle has difficulty in communicating. Isabelle has a specially-equipped machine that helps her to walk and she attends a Gaelscoil near her home in Mallow in County Cork where she has learned a few words in Irish, but she will required full-time care for the rest of her life.

Liability for Isabelle´s tragic condition was admitted by Dr Corr after Catherine had claimed compensation for the failure to refer her to a specialist. The consultant obstetrician said he “very much regrets the outcome in relation to Isabelle´s birth” during a hearing to approve an initial interim settlement of compensation in October 2011.

A second interim settlement of compensation for the failure to refer was approved in 2013 and – due for a further interim settlement of compensation – Isabelle´s mother asked for a final lump sum payment in order to avoid the disruption to Isabelle´s life in the weeks leading up to each assessment of her needs.

The request for a lump sum payment was granted and, approving the final settlement of €9 million compensation for the failure to refer Catherine to a specialist, High Court President Mr Justice Peter Kelly said it was a fair and reasonable settlement and underscored the necessity for the introduction of a periodic payments scheme.

Agreeing it was understandable that Isabelle’s parents were weary with interim settlements, Mr Justice Kelly paid tribute to Catherine and Colm Sheehan – saying that Isabelle would not have made the progress she had without the “truly remarkable” love, care and attention they have lavished on her.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Judge Approves Settlement of Compensation for the Failure to Diagnose Hydrocephalus

Mr Justice Kevin Cross has approved a €1.9 million settlement of compensation for the failure to diagnose hydrocephalus in favour of an eight-year-old boy.

Joe Keegan-Grant was born on 17th January 2008 at the Mount Carmel Hospital by emergency Caesarean Section. The emergency procedure had been ordered by doctors wary of applying any pressure to an arachnoid cyst that had been revealed at the base of Joe´s skull during a pre-natal scan.

Despite the presence of the cyst, Joe was discharged from hospital a few days later. Over the course of the next few months, Joe was regularly assessed by public health nurses and paediatrician Dr Vladka Vilimkova. However, despite concerns about his delayed development, neither the public health nurses nor Dr Vilimkova identified that Joe´s head was growing too quickly for his age.

It was only in October 2008 – when Joe had been taken to his family´s new GP in Creggs, County Roscommon, suffering with a chest infection – was any comment made about the size of Joe´s head. Joe was referred to the Crumlin Hospital, where he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus – a condition that is known to be a consequence of an arachnoid cyst, and that can cause developmental delay and autism.

Through his mother, Patricia, Joe claimed compensation for the failure to diagnose hydrocephalus – alleging that both the public health nurses and Dr Vilimkova failed to plot Joe´s head circumference on a chart or exchange information about Joe´s developmental delay. The HSE denied liability, but made the family an offer of compensation for the failure to diagnose hydrocephalus amounting to €1.9 million.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that, although there was evidence to support the claim for compensation for the failure to diagnose hydrocephalus, the HSE had opposing evidence that disputed the link between the failure to diagnose hydrocephalus, developmental delay and autism. With there being a dispute over liability and causation, the court was asked to approve the settlement.

Joe´s father told the judge: “we just want to ensure that we can look after him and offer him the best care and therapy and interventions that can bring him along.” Judge Cross also heard that, despite his autism, Joe was doing well at a mainstream school but he will never be able to care for himself, get a job or lead an independent life.

Judge Cross said in the circumstances it would be prudent to approve the settlement of compensation for the failure to diagnose hydrocephalus. The judge noted there was a risk that, should the case go to a full hearing, Joe might be unsuccessful with his claim against the HSE. The judge approved the settlement and closed the hearing after wishing Joe and his parents all the best for the future.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Couple Awarded Medical Negligence Compensation for the Death of a Baby

A couple have been awarded €70,000 medical negligence compensation for the death of a baby son after an approval hearing at the High Court.

Fiona Watters was admitted into the Cavan General Hospital on 20th November 2012 in the later stages of her first pregnancy. Fiona´s waters broke at 10:30am on the morning of 22nd November and she was administered Prostiglandin to accelerate her labour.

During the day the levels of Prostiglandin were increased. At 9:30pm that evening a natural birth was attempted but, after an hour of pushing, the midwife rang consultant obstetrician Dr Salah Aziz to inform him that the baby´s head was not visible and the indications were that the baby was suffering foetal distress.

Dr Aziz arrived at the Labour Ward to discover that another Caesarean Section operation was taking place in the only out-of-hours theatre. He attempted both a forceps delivery and a vacuum delivery – both of which failed. When the theatre became available, Fiona underwent an emergency Caesarean Section operation, but her son – Jamie – was delivered in a very poor condition.

Jamie was transferred to the special care baby unit at the Rotunda Hospital, where he tragically died two days later in his mother´s arms. An initial investigation into the cause of Jamie´s death was quashed by the High Court in August 2013 after Dr Aziz successfully argued that HSE investigators had not followed the correct procedures.

However Fiona and her partner – Francis Flynn – had already received an advanced copy of the report and, after seeking legal advice, they claimed medical negligence compensation for the death of a baby against Cavan General Hospital and the HSE.

The HSE failed to acknowledge liability for Jamie´s death until almost a year later and only then commissioned a second investigation into the events leading up to Jamie´s delivery. However, this time the investigation was to be carried out by an independent review team following the subsequent deaths of two more children at the Cavan General Hospital.

In December 2014, an inquest into Jamie´s death attributed it to medical misadventure. The coroner said that the increased administration of Prostiglandin, Dr Aziz´s failure to inform the registrar that the Jamie´s delivery was expected that evening and the lack of a second out-of-hours theatre at the hospital were all causative events for Jamie´s death.

Following the coroner´s verdict, negotiations started with the State Claims Agency to settle the claim for medical negligence compensation for the death of a baby. Due to the traumatic circumstances leading up to Jamie´s birth and the protracted investigations into Jamie´s death, a settlement of €70,000 was agreed.

Earlier this week a hearing at the High Court took place to approve the settlement. Mr Justice Richard Humphreys heard that the size of the settlement reflected the long-lasting grief and distress that had been suffered by Jamie´s parents. Judge Humphreys approved the settlement, stipulating that €5,000 of the settlement should be paid into court funds for the benefit of Fiona and Francis´ daughter.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Claims for Negligent Hysterectomy Procedures made by Seven Patients

Seven former patients of a gynaecologist, recently found negligent by the Medical Council, have made claims for negligent hysterectomy procedures.

The claims for negligent hysterectomy procedures all relate to the treatment provided by Dr Peter Van Greene at the Aut Even private hospital in Kilkenny between 2009 and 2011, and were made prior to a hearing of the Medical Council´s Fitness to Practise Committee last week which found the gynaecologist guilty on two counts of a poor professional performance.

The complaints against Dr Van Greene were brought by Helen Cruise and three other women who remained anonymous – Helen having undergone a hysterectomy at the Kilkenny hospital without the gynaecologist having obtained her informed consent before the procedure. Helen claims that the standard of treatment she received has left her with depression ever since.

During the hearing of the Medical Council´s Fitness to Practise Committee, Helen testified that the procedure and the potential risks involved had only been explained to her after she had been administered a spinal anaesthetic. She also needed six units of blood due to excessive post-operative bleeding following her operation.

The Committee – that has the option of fining Dr Van Greene or striking him from the medical register – also heard that Dr Van Greene applied for bankruptcy in the UK earlier this year and is currently unemployed. He was most recently employed at the Whitfield Clinic in Waterford while investigations were ongoing into the allegations made by the four women.

Dr Van Greene´s bankrupt status will not prevent the seven former patients from recovering compensation if their claims for negligent hysterectomy procedures are successful. Any settlements of compensation will be paid by Dr Van Greene´s former medical indemnity insurance company.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Woman Allowed to Claim Compensation for the Failure to Identify Side Effects of Medication

A County Cork woman has been given permission by a High Court judge to claim compensation for the failure to identify the side effects of medication prescribed for her seventeen years ago.  

Forty-three year old Lorna Savage was given permission to claim compensation for the failure to identify the side effects of medication after an attempt to dismiss her claim by Pfizer was denied by a judge at the High Court.

Lorna had originally been prescribed the steroid Deltacortril when she was twenty-seven years old in 1997, in order to treat the condition vasculitis – a skin disorder in which damaged blood vessels cluster together to form an irritable and unsightly rash on the surface of the skin.

After taking Deltacortril for a prolonged period of time, Lorna developed Avascular Necrosis – a known but uncommon side effect of the steroid – a condition which prevents blood from reaching bones (usually the hip and knee joints) with the resulting effect that the bone tissue dies and the bone eventually collapses.

By the time Lorna was thirty one years old, she had undergone surgery to have and one hip and both knees replaced, and her condition had deteriorated to such an extent that she was confined to a wheelchair and regularly taking morphine to control the pain.

Lorna made a claim for compensation for the failure to identify the side effects of the medication against her GP – Dr. Michael Madigan – and her consultant doctor at Cork University Hospital – Dr. M Molloy.

In her legal action against her GP, Lorna alleged that Dr. Madigan had not investigated her vasculitis condition fully and had negligently prescribed the steroid Deltacortril when he was (or should have been) knowledgeable of the possible side effects.

She also claimed that her consultant – Dr. Molloy – had continued to prescribe Deltacortril after Dr. Madigan´s death (in 1999) and that he had failed to identify the side effects of the medication despite her deteriorating condition.

Lorna also included the pharmaceutical company Pfizer in her claim for compensation for the failure to identify the side effects of medication – alleging that Pfizer had neglected to include a warning on the literature accompanying the Deltacortril tablets that continued use of the steroids could cause Avascular Necrosis. Lorna also claimed that the company was negligent for failing to advise against the risks of drinking alcohol while taking the tablets.

Dr. Madigan´s estate, the HSE (on behalf of the Cork University Hospital and Dr. Molloy) and Pfizer each denied that they had been negligent. Pfizer applied to have Lorna´s claim for compensation for the failure to identify the side effects of medication dismissed on the grounds that there had been an “inexcusable delay” in bringing the case to court.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Mr Justice George Birmingham ruled that the delay was “excusable” on the grounds that the delay in bringing the case to court had been caused by Lorna having to undergo several more operations recently.

This, the judge said, had prevented Lorna from instructing her solicitors, and was a reasonably valid excuse. The judge denied Pfizer´s application to dismiss the case – stating that Lorna´s claim for compensation for the failure to identify the side effects of medication would be listed for a full court hearing later in the year.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Interim Settlement of Compensation for Failing to Act on CTG Readings Approved in Court

A judge has approved a second interim settlement of compensation for failing to act on CTG readings in favour of a boy who suffers from cerebral palsy due to being starved of oxygen in the womb.

Eight-year-old Luke Miggin from Athboy in County Meath was born at the Mullingar General Hospital in February 2006 after having been starved of oxygen in the womb due to his mother´s obstetric consultant – Mr Michael Gannon – failing to act on CTG readings which indicated a deceleration of the foetal heartbeat.

After he was born, Luke was resuscitated and transferred to a special care baby unit, but he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and now needs 24/7 specialist care as he is unable to walk or take care of his personal needs.

Luke´s mother – Emily Miggin – made a claim for compensation for failing to act on CTG readings against Gannon and the Health Service Executive, and in 2010 liability was admitted for Luke´s injuries. An initial interim settlement of compensation was approved by Mr Justice John Quirke, who adjourned the case for three years to allow time for legislation to pass which would allow for a more suitable structured settlement.

Unfortunately such legislation has not yet been introduced and, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was critical of former Ministers of Justice for failing to deliver on their promises of periodic payments for victims of catastrophic medical negligence. Judge Irvine said that the lack of a structured settlement system prevented families such as the Miggins from being able to get on with their lives when there was ongoing litigation.

The judge approved a second interim settlement of compensation for failing to act on CTG readings and adjourned Luke´s case for a further three years when his needs will be re-assessed and  a structured settlement system might be in place.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Apologises for Wrongful Death due to Failing to Diagnose Cancer

A family has received an apology from Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda for a wrongful death due to failing to diagnose cancer.

The family of Sharon McEneaney from Carrickmacross in County Monaghan – who died in April 2009 from a cancerous tumour in her abdomen – were at the High Court when they heard an apology read to them by a representative of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, were Sharon attended complaining of a pain in her abdomen in October 2007.

The court heard how attending physician Dr Etop Samson Akpan failed to consider the potential of a tumour, and it was not until former TD Dr Rory O´Hanlon intervened on Sharon´s behalf that she was given a biopsy in June 2008.  By then the abdomen cancer had developed beyond the stage at which it could be treated. Sharon died ten months later.

The court was also told that a report compiled by the Health Service Executive (HSE) after an investigation into Sharon´s death made thirty-eight recommendations for the future prevention of a wrongful death due to failing to diagnose cancer and that Dr Akpan was found guilty of a poor professional performance at a hearing of the Medical Council of Ireland´s Fitness to Practise Committee in January 2012.

The apology to the family was read by Margaret Swords – the General Manager of the Louth & Meath Hospital Group – who admitted that Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital had failed Sharon and that the hospital was making progress in implementing the HSE´s recommendations. The court also heard that a settlement of compensation for a wrongful death due to failing to diagnose cancer had been agreed amounting to €62,500.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that €10,000 of the settlement was going to cover the cost of Sharon´s funeral and other expenses related to her death, while Sharon´s mother – Jane – is to receive €27,100, and the remainder to be divided between Sharon´s four brothers and sisters. The judge heard that the family was satisfied with Ms Swords´ apology and the terms of the settlement.

Closing the hearing, Judge Irvine said that the McEneaney family had shown “courage and tenacity” throughout the inquest into Sharon´s death and “marvellous fortitude” in the face of such a tragic loss.

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