Medical Negligence

Girl (16) Awarded €250k Following Perforated Eardrum in ED

By February 5, 2023 No Comments
Perforated Eardrum

Perforated Eardrum – A girl has been awarded €250,000 as part of a High Court settlement following her eardrum being perforated in a hospital emergency department.

Traumatic Perforation

The court heard how, when the girl was six years-old in early January of 2012, she had lodged a bead into her ear while making a necklace. She was taken to the emergency department of Children’s University Hospital in Dublin to have it removed, but claims that she suffered a traumatic perforation of her left eardrum when the removal was attempted and resulting in hearing loss in that ear.

It was further claimed that the child had been bleeding, crying hysterically, and was in excruciating pain.

Counsel for the complainant noted that the child’s mother was told that she would be referred to the hospital’s ear, nose, and throat department following the unsuccessful attempt to remove the bead. However, no referral had arrived for five days, at which point the mother contacted the hospital and was told to once again attend the emergency department of the Children’s University Hospital.

Conductive Hearing Loss

It was alleged that the mother was told that the bead would have to be removed under general anaesthetic. Following the operation, it was noted that the bead had become deeply embedded in the child’s ear canal, and that there had been a perforation of the eardrum. It was later confirmed that a 40-decibel conductive hearing loss had occurred in the child’s ear.

Suing through her mother, the child, who is now sixteen and wears a hearing aid, claimed that there had been a failure to adequately assess the risk associated with her reason for attending the emergency department, and that it had been unsafe to attempt a removal of the bead as it resulted in the aforementioned injuries.

In addition, it was also claimed that there had been a failure to provide swift medical intervention which led to the development of an ear infection.

Negligence and a breach of duty was admitted by the hospital in relation to the care and treatment of the child when she first visited the emergency department in early January.

In approving the €250,000 settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said that he had no hesitation in doing so, describing the amount as fair and reasonable.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*

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