Stroke victim settles case against hospital for €2.25m

Claim of ‘serious mistake’ made in diagnosis when woman brought to Tallaght hospital

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was a very good one.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was a very good one.

 

A woman who claimed a misdiagnosis was made when she was first brought to hospital, and who collapsed two months later with a stroke, has settled her High Court action for €2.25 million.

Dr John O’Mahony SC, for Bridget Hughes (64), told the court on Friday their claim was that a “serious mistake” was made when Ms Hughes was brought to the Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin, after collapsing in her kitchen with a severe, intractable headache and vomiting. Their claims was these symptoms should have been picked up on and the first collapse in January 2013 was a “warning”.

In March 2013, two months later, Mrs Hughes suffered a full haemorrhage with a left side stroke and left side weakness. Counsel said their contention was that if a proper diagnosis had been made the first time Mrs Hughes was admitted to hospital the second collapse in March 2013 would not have occurred. Mrs Hughes has been cared for in a nursing home since and has to use a wheelchair.

Liability denied

Liability was denied in the case.

Mrs Hughes, a mother-of-five, of Melie An Rí View, Lucan, Co Dublin, had, through her son Jesse Ali Hughes, sued the Adelaide and Meath hospital over her care when she was brought there in January 2013 after collapsing at home. It was claimed she was given analgesics and was discharged the following morning with a diagnosis of viral infection and migraine. Two months later she was brought by ambulance to another hospital and had weakness of the left side of her body due, it was claimed, to an aneurysm of the cerebral artery and had to have surgery. It was alleged there was failure at the hospital to carry out a CT scan or a lumbar puncture so as to rule out inter cranial bleeding and that Mrs Hughes was permitted to leave the hospital when she had allegedly been inadequately diagnosed and treated.

It was further claimed there was failure to diagnose a herald bleed which went on to a stroke and that an inappropriate diagnosis of migraine and viral infection were made in January 2013.

Claims denied

The claims were denied.

Before her collapse, Mrs Hughes worked in a charity shop, the court heard. Dr O’Mahony told the court the Hughes family were very keen to bring her home and adapt the house for her needs. Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was a very good one.