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Family Awarded Compensation Following Wrongful Death due to Misdiagnosis

The family of a young boy who died due a misdiagnosis of his bacterial infection has been awarded compensation for their suffering.

In February 2011, Richard de Souza from Athy, County Kildare had been taken to the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise by his parents. His parents were concerned after Richard developed a lump on the left side of his body while suffering from chicken pox.

The doctor in the A&E Department diagnosed Richard as having an infection. They prescribed him with a three-day course in antibiotics, and discharged him. In spite Richard displaying a high temperature and high pulse and heart rate, no further medical action was taken.

Later that evening Richard complained of being thirsty and became delirious, and the following morning collapsed on the floor of the family home. Richard´s mother called for an ambulance, and paramedics soon arrived on the scene. However, when they arrived, Richard was already in a state of cardiac arrest. In spite of the best efforts of medical staff, he was declared dead on arrival at the Midland Regional Hospital.

An investigation was launched into Richard’s death. A report was released that attributed Richard´s death to a streptococcal infection. This led to him suffering from toxic shock syndrome. The report stated that it could have been successfully treated by intravenous antibiotics had Richard been admitted to hospital. After hearing this evidence, Ralmon and Flavia de Souza sought legal counsel and made a claim for compensation for a fatal hospital misdiagnosis.

Following an investigation into the claim, the Midland Regional Hospital and the Health Service Executive admitted liability for Richard´s wrongful death and a settlement of compensation for a fatal hospital misdiagnosis was negotiated to include the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder both parents had been diagnosed with following the tragic and avoidable death of their son

 At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard a representative of the Midland Regional Hospital read out an apology to the family before approving the €160,000 settlement of the claim for a hospital fatal misdiagnosis. She wished the family well for the future.

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