€5.9m set­tle­ment af­ter man left blind fol­low­ing med­i­cal er­ror


New Ross Standard - - NEWS -

THE fam­ily of a lo­cal man who was left blinded by a med­i­cal er­ror while in the care of Beau­mont hos­pi­tal are to at­tempt to help him to move on with his life af­ter be­ing awarded €5.9mil­lion in the High Court last week.

Coun­sel for 49-year-old Bren­dan Doyle, who cur­rently re­sides at Law­son House in Glen­brien, told the court that a shunt, which had been in Mr Doyle’s brain since child­hood, was re­moved when he was ad­mit­ted to Beau­mont Hos­pi­tal in 2011, but had not been re-in­serted. This had led to ‘ tragic con­se­quences’ re­sult­ing in him be­ing left to­tally blind.

De­nis McCul­lough SC said for his client, who has cere­bral palsy and mild learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties, it was the ‘fi­nal straw’ and he has lived in a nurs­ing home ever since. Ap­prov­ing the set­tle­ment Mr Jus­tice Cross said it was a sad in­ci­dent and it had a cat­a­strophic ef­fect on Mr Doyle. He said the set­tle­ment will look af­ter Mr Doyle for the rest of his life. He noted the hos­pi­tal had ad­mit­ted li­a­bil­ity and had taken a rea­son­able ap­proach in re­la­tion to the fu­ture ac­com­mo­da­tion needs of Mr Doyle, who will now be able to move out of the nurs­ing home.

Bren­dan’s brother John, who is from the Bun­clody area, sued Beau­mont Hos­pi­tal on be­half of his brother over the cir­cum­stances of his care.

Mr Doyle had had the shunt in­serted into his brain since child­hood and on June 1, 2011, he was com­plain­ing of a headache and vom­it­ing. He at­tended his lo­cal hos­pi­tal be­fore be­ing re­ferred to Beau­mont. It was claimed that due to a sus­pi­cion Mr Doyle had sus­tained a shunt re­lated in­fec­tion, the brain shunt was re­moved a few days later and it was de­cided it was not nec­es­sary to re-es­tab­lish the shunt.

Mr Doyle was dis­charged from Beau­mont Hos­pi­tal on June 10, 2011 with direc­tions to con­tinue an­tibi­otic ther­apy and af­ter a few days in his lo­cal hos­pi­tal was dis­charged on June 16, 2011. It is claimed the next day he was back in the A&E of his lo­cal hos­pi­tal com­plain­ing of in­creased weak­ness and he had a CT scan. He had an­other CT scan in July.

Mr Doyle who was com­plain­ing of headache was re­ferred back to out­pa­tients at Beau­mont Hos­pi­tal and in Au­gust, 2011 his case was re­viewed and it is claimed the im­pres­sion was formed that the man’s con­di­tion was im­prov­ing and an­other CT scan was rec­om­mended for De­cem­ber 2011.

In early Septem­ber 2011, it is claimed Mr Doyle suf­fered loss of vi­sion and was re­ferred back to Beau­mont Hos­pi­tal where he un­der­went surgery. Notwith­stand­ing the rein­ser­tion of the brain shunt, Mr Doyle lost his eye­sight.

In a state­ment read aloud by so­lic­i­tor Michael Boylan out­side the court, John Doyle said that the fam­ily felt ag­grieved that li­a­bil­ity was only ad­mit­ted six and a half years later, in Jan­uary of this year.

‘Bren­dan has wasted al­most seven years of his life in a nurs­ing home with no ef­fec­tive re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme, sur­rounded by el­derly pa­tients and hav­ing to wait for a call bell to be an­swered just so he can use the bath­room,’ John’s state­ment read.

He con­tin­ued that Bren­dan had been very in­de­pen­dent be­fore the in­ci­dent, us­ing bus ser­vices in­de­pen­dently, writ­ing and en­joy­ing lots of hob­bies.

‘Be­fore this he re­quired su­per­vi­sion only, rather than care,’ John said. ‘Bren­dan was an ac­tive and con­tribut­ing mem­ber of his com­mu­nity.’

The fam­ily has said they now plan to pro­vide Bren­dan with a pur­pose built home of his own and the 24-hour sup­port he needs.

‘We and Bren­dan would re­turn ev­ery cent of this set­tle­ment were it to mean that he could see again,’ John said. ‘But we hope that with ther­apy and proper re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, Bren­dan will at least once again be­come an ac­tive mem­ber of his com­mu­nity and be­gin to en­joy life once more. We will leave Dublin now and re­turn to Wex­ford to start putting ar­range­ments in place so that Bren­dan will spend Christ­mas in a suit­able home and can start the New Year with a care sup­port pack­age in place that will al­low Bren­dan to sur­mount the chal­lenges life has pre­sented, as he has bravely done be­fore.’

Bren­dan Doyle was left blinded by a med­i­cal er­ror at Beau­mont.

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