Claim for Undiagnosed Brain Injury Settled in Court

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A claim made on behalf of a woman who suffered brain damage due to an undiagnosed intra cerebral subarachnoid has been settled in court.

In June 2006, Paula Dundon (42)–a mother of three from Brownstown in County Kildare – attended the Naas General Hospital after complaining of severe headaches, nausea and vomiting. Paula was admitted to the hospital and administered painkillers. A CT scan was later taken of her brain in an attempt to diagnose her problem.

Medical staff at the hospital failed to identify what was causing Paula to suffer such severe headaches, and called her back for a second scan a few days later. The second scan revealed a large intra cerebral bleed on the left side of her brain. Paula was transferred to the Beaumont Hospital for emergency treatment.

Further medical tests at Beaumont Hospital revealed an intra cerebral subarachnoid haemorrhage. Due to the amount of time that had passed between Paula attending Naas General Hospital and her injury being diagnosed, Paula suffered severe brain damage. She now requires around the clock care.

Paula´s husband – Michael – made a claim for an undiagnosed intra cerebral subarachnoid haemorrhage on behalf of his wife. In his action, he alleged that the delayed in diagnosing his wife´s injury could have been avoided and was attributable to hospital negligence. He claimed that an adequate assessment and prompt diagnosis would have limited the degree of Paula’s injuries.

The defendants-the Health Service Executive (HSE)-contested the element of the claim for an undiagnosed intra cerebral subarachnoid haemorrhage relating to the failure to adequately assess Paula, but admitted that there had been a failure to diagnose within an appropriate timeframe.

A €2.7 million settlement of the claim for an undiagnosed intra cerebral subarachnoid haemorrhage was agreed. Since Paula was unable to approve of the claim herself, it was brought to court to be approved on her behalf. The approval hearing took place earlier this week at the High Court before Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who – after hearing the circumstances of the case – approved the settlement and congratulated Michael for the care he had given to Paula over the past ten years.

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