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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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