Archive for October 2012

Court Approves Settlement of Compensation for the Misdiagnosis of a Brain Tumour

A High Court judge in Dublin has approved a settlement of compensation for the misdiagnosis of a brain tumour in favour of a severely disabled student.

In 2006, Seamus Walshe Jnr of Taylor´s Hill in County Galway was a third-level construction studies student. Seamus started experiencing problems with his eyes when looking upwards before his symptoms deteriorated to include nausea and vomiting. Seamus attended the Galway University Hospital, where he was told after a neurological examination that no problems were identified.

Seamus´ symptoms continued; and, as a tumour in his brain grew and spread into the surrounding tissues, Seamus experienced increasing levels of pain and discomfort. A further visit to Galway University Hospital resulted in the tumour being identified, and Seamus was referred to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin – where he underwent surgery in May 2007.

Unfortunately, complications during surgery to remove the tumour resulted in a brain haemorrhage. Seamus was in intensive care for nine weeks after his operation and left with permanent brain damage. He was transferred back to Galway University Hospital in November 2007, and then to the National Rehabilitation Centre in September 2008 – by which time Seamus was confined to wheelchair, had severe spasticity of the limbs and a severe eye disorder.

Through his father – Seamus Walshe Snr – Seamus claimed compensation for the misdiagnosis of a brain tumour, alleging that had scans been ordered when he first attended the Galway University Hospital, the tumour would have been identified sooner and the complications that occurred during the surgery at the Beaumont Hospital would have been less likely.

It was also alleged in the claim for compensation for the misdiagnosis of a brain tumour that the Beaumont Hospital had elected to perform surgery, rather than treat the tumour with radiotherapy and chemotherapy even though radiotherapy and chemotherapy had long-term survival rates of up to 90 percent.

At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that a €2.5 million interim settlement of compensation for the misdiagnosis of a brain tumour had been agreed without an admission of liability by either hospital or the Health Service Executive. The settlement is to cover Seamus´ care for the next three years; after which it is hope that a system of periodic payments will be introduced to cover Seamus´ care for the rest of his life.

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Widower Awarded Compensation for Failure to Treat a Postpartum Haemorrhage

A man has been awarded €850,000 compensation for the failure to treat a postpartum haemorrhage that resulted in the death of his wife.

Padraic Flanagan (43) from Castlebar in County Mayo made the medical negligence claim following an inquest into the death of his wife – Evelyn – who died while giving birth to the couple´s second child in October 2007 at the Mayo General Hospital.

An initial post-mortem into Evelyn´s death concluded that it was attributable to an amniotic fluid embolism. However, Padraic criticised the findings of the post-mortem, and claimed that the deterioration in his wife´s condition after the birth of their child was due to a postpartum haemorrhage of Evelyn´s uterus which was not detected or adequately treated.

The subsequent inquest into Evelyn´s death returned a verdict of death by medical adventure. After hearing the coroner´s verdict, Padraic sought legal advice and claimed compensation for the failure to treat a postpartum haemorrhage against the Mayo General Hospital and Evelyn´s consultant obstetrician, Dr Murtada Mohamed.

Both the Mayo General Hospital and Dr Mohamed denied their liability for Evelyn´s death, but her widower persisted with his legal action, and court proceedings were issued against the alleged negligent parties. However, shortly before the claim for compensation for the failure to treat a postpartum haemorrhage was due to be heard in court, the Health Service Executive admitted that Evelyn´s death could have been prevented with greater care.

As no agreement could be negotiated on how much compensation for the failure to treat a postpartum haemorrhage Padraic was entitled to, the case proceeded to the Dublin High Court for assessment of damages. After hearing the circumstances of Evelyn´s death, Mr Justice Michael Peart awarded Padraic €850,000 compensation against the Health Service Executive. The claim against Dr Mohamed was struck out.

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