At the High Court a €12m approval has been given for a hospital negligence compensation settlement in favour of a nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage as, it was alleged, she was not admitted and treated when she first contracted bacterial meningitis.
The medical negligence compensation action was submitted against the Health Service Executive (HSE) by Cabrini Fallon on behalf of her daughter Robyn Kilgallon in relation to the treatment she was given when she attended Sligo General Hospital on February 1, 2011 at the age of 10 months.
The court was informed that Robyn’s parents brought her to the hospital on the advice of her GP who was concerned the child had a viral infection. Even though Robyn was displaying standard infection symptoms such as a high temperature and vomiting, had little management over her movement and had eyes rolling in the back of her head, she was sent home by a junior doctor as, her parents were informed, Robyn’s blood tests did not suggest that there was anything that appeared to be a serious issue.
However, when Robyn’s condition did not then get better and she was readmitted to the hospital on the morning of February 2. At this time the young girl was very ill, unresponsive and experienced a seizure. She was taken to an intensive care unit where she was also incubated. Soon after this she (Robyn) was reviews and her condition was deemed to be a serious to the extent that she was brought to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for specialist treatment and care.
Robyn now suffers from significant development delay and has great trouble communicating with others and walking.
In the legal action it was alleged the HSE has not admitted Robyn to treat her for the suspected bacterial infection. It was also claimed that this failure to admit Robyn, of Caltragh Road, Sligo lead to her suffering brain damage.
The family solicitor, Donnacha Anhold, read out a statement in court on for the Kilgallon family. It said Robyn had been a very healthy young child at the time that she was taken to Sligo General Hospital. Mr Arnold went on to say that the HSE has issued an apology to the Kilgallon family last week, for which the family was extremely appreciative.
He added that he family had not been informed of the steps that the HSE plans to create to stop something this from happening in the future. There has been nothing produced so far in relation to this particular aspect of the case.
Liability in the action was accepted by the HSE in the hospital negligence legal action and presiding Judge Justice Cross said he was satisfied to give his approval for the settlement figure that had been agreed by all parties involves.