Tuesday, July 26, 2022

ANN O’LOUGHLIN

A 30-year-old woman who sued claiming a cyst on her brain was not diagnosed for over two years has settled a High Court action with an interim payout of €3 million.

The woman’s counsel told the High Court the woman had a benign colloid cyst, but this type of cyst can lead to the build-up of inter cranial pressure and tissue damage.

Des O’Neill SC instructed by Callan Tansey Solicitors said it was their case the failure to treat the cyst on the woman’s brain over two and half years resulted in irreparable brain damage.

The woman he said now needs 24-hour care for the rest of her life. Counsel said when the cyst was finally diagnosed the woman had a brain operation which saved her life, but she had been left with irreparable front lobe damage.

“She needs a guardian angel with her 24 hours a day,” Counsel said.

The interim payment is for the next seven years, when her future care needs will be assessed.

The woman who cannot be identified by order of the court had through her sister sued the HSE over the care she received at Mayo University Hospital from the time she first attended the hospital after she suffered a grand mal seizure in 2014.

It was claimed that if the brain cyst had been identified and treated prior to July 2017, she would not have suffered rising intracranial pressure and consequent cell death between 2014 and 2017, and she would not have suffered the acute collapse and damage in 2017.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to diagnose the colloid cyst and that a CT scan of her brain carried out on December 26th, 2014 had been reported back as normal which it was claimed it was clear that was not the case, and it was claimed it was in fact grossly abnormal.

Breach of duty

There was also it was claimed an alleged failure to refer the young woman in December 2014 for a neurological examination and that a CT scan arranged in March 2016 had been cancelled.

Counsel told the court a breach of duty had been acknowledged by the HSE, but causation was still at issue.

Mr O’Neill said in 2014 the family noticed a change in the young woman’s behaviour, and she was suffering headaches. She suffered a Grand Mal fit in her home and was taken to Mayo University Hospital. She had a CT scan which counsel said was erroneously interpreted as normal,

In March 2016 she was complaining of other headaches and a diagnosis secondary to sinus problems was made. A CT scan was requested but it was cancelled

In 2017 the woman’s condition began to deteriorate, and she was complaining of headaches, and she also began to vomit.

She was brought back to Mayo University Hospital on July 15th, 2017, complaining of a two-week history of recurrent headaches. A diagnosis of possible infected sinus and dehydration. She was declared fit for discharge but collapsed.

A CT scan was carried out on July 18th, 2017, and she was transferred to a Dublin hospital where she suffered a cardiac arrest in A&E.

At this stage Counsel said the correct diagnosis made of the colloid cyst on the brain. Surgery was carried out he said which saved the woman’s life.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Paul Coffey wished the woman and her family well for the future.

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