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Delayed Diagnosis Leads to €12m Hospital Negligence Compensation Settlement for Girl at High Court

Approval has been given for a a €12 delayed diagnosis compensation settlement at the High Court in relation to a legal action initiated by a 9-year-old girl.

The settlement was made in favour of the girl, Robyn Kilgallon, in relation to her contracting bacterial meningitis after she was not admitted to Sligo General Hospital. She took the medical negligence action due to the care she received she was taken to Sligo General Hospital A&E Department for treatment on 1 February 2011, when she was aged just 10 months.

Even though she presented, following a GP referral, to the hospital in an extremely poorly condition on February 1, Robyn’s parents were advised to bring her home. This was despite her symptoms including a high temperature, vomiting, her body had gone floppy and her eyes rolling in the back of her head As her condition failed to improve over the next 24 hours they returned to the hospital again.

At this point in time she very ill, unresponsive and had already suffered a seizure. The decision was taken to admit her to an ICU unit. Soon afterwards she was transferred for specialist treatment to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast as there were no beds available in Crumlin or Temple Street in Dublin.

In Belfast Robyn was diagnosed as having contracted Meningococcal Meningitis a form of bacteria that affects the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and spent a number of days in an isolation unit. Sadly, despite the treatment she got in Belfast, Robyn had already suffered significant brain injuries.

Robyn took the hospital negligence action through her mother, Cabrini Fallon of Caltragh Road, Sligo. She claimed the HSE had been negligent on grounds including that there was a failure to admit and treat her for suspected bacterial infection. It was alleged that the failure to admit Robyn when she first presented allowed the condition to progress unchecked resulting in her suffering brain damage.

Liability in the action was admitted and Robyn’s counsel Alistair Rutherdale Bl, instructed by solicitor Donnacha Anhold told Mr Justice Kevin Cross that the matter had been resolved following a mediation between the parties.

Robyn, who is now ten years old, has complex medical and physical needs, suffers from significant development delay and has difficulty communicating with others and moving. She will require assistance for the rest of her life.

Counsel said that there is a good chance that if Robyn been admitted and had antibiotics administered when she first presented at the hospital she would not have suffered the catastrophic injuries that have changed her life forever.

Presiding judge Kevin Cross said that he was happy to approve the compensation settlement figure, and praised Robyn’s parents for the great work they have been doing in raising their daughter.


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