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.