Woman settles action over brain haemorrage for €750,000

Lorraine Duffy secures apology for delay in diagnosis of inter-cranial aneurysm

An apology to Lorraine Duffy by consultant radiologist Dr Ian Davidson of Bon Secours Hospital, Galway, was  read to the court. File Photograph: Cyril Byrne

An apology to Lorraine Duffy by consultant radiologist Dr Ian Davidson of Bon Secours Hospital, Galway, was read to the court. File Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

A woman who was given the all-clear after a brain scan but collapsed four years later with a brain haemorrhage has settled her High Court action for €750,000.

An apology by consultant radiologist Dr Ian Davidson of Bon Secours Hospital, Galway, was also read to the court in which he acknowledged and apologised for “the failings” in respect of his care that led to the delay in diagnosis of Lorraine Duffy’s inter-cranial aneurysm.

In the apology, Dr Davidson said: “I would like to offer my sincere sympathy and regret for the upset and harm you have suffered arising from the subarachnoid hemorrhage in May 2012.”

Dr John O’Mahony SC, for Ms Duffy, said she had gone to the Galway hospital in 2008 complaining of severe headaches, particularly over her left eye, and was referred for a brain scan.

Counsel said Ms Duffy was given the all-clear and it was reported as normal. However, while out running in 2012, she collapsed and was taken to hospital.

Dr O’Mahony said there was an aneurysm in the right side of the brain which, he said, should have been identified in 2008. Had that been done, Ms Duffy could have gone on to have a normal life.

Counsel said his client uffered a weakness of the left upper arm.

It is a “very tragic” case and Ms Duffy now has deficits because of injuries to the brain, he said.

Ms Duffy (42), a teacher, of An Creagan, Barna, Co Galway, had sued the Bon Secours Hospital, Renmore Road, Co Galway; Bon Secours Ireland Ltd and Bon Secours Health System Ltd, College Road, Cork, which manages the Galway hospital.

She also sued consultant radiologist Dr Ian Davidson, of Bon Secours Hospital, Galway, and Alliance Medical Diagnostic Imaging Ltd, Raheen, Co Limerick, which was involved in diagnostic imaging at the Galway hospital.

It was claimed Ms Duffy presented to hospital in April 2008 suffering severe headaches. It was claimed a magnetic resonance angiogram was arranged and was reported upon wrongly by Dr Davidson as being normal when it showed a right middle cerebral artery aneurysm.

Ms Duffy was given the wrong diagnosis of migraine headaches to be managed with medication, it was alleged. After her collapse in 2012, the matter was investigated at a Dublin hospital and Ms Duffy was found to have aneurysms.

Dr O’Mahony said Ms Duffy now works part time and will have to deal with the consequences of what happened for the rest of her life.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross noted the settlement and said he was sure the apology was a comfort to Ms Duffy.