60 years old Bernadette Surlis has had a misdiagnosis negligence settlement with the Health Service Executive (HSE) of €5m approved in relation to the treatment she received at Sligo General Hospital in 2013.
Senior Counsel Mr Cush said that, if had Ms Surlis been properly and quickly diagnosed and treated in November 2013, she would not have suffered the injuries. He advised the court that liability was accepted by the HSE.
Ms Surlis attended Sligo General Hospital on November 3, 2013, as she a headache, was vomiting and had a dilated left pupil on her eye, but was designated as category three and left to wait for treatment for another three hours. ‘Triaged’ refers to the fact that she was not treated as an immediate emergency.
Physicians looked over her for evidence of glaucoma and discharged her. However, she returned the following day when the severity of her condition was “appreciated for the first time”.
Ms Surlis, who lives at Drinaum, Strokestown in Co Roscommon was transferred to Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital on November 5 as she suffered a hemorrhage and severe/permanent injury. She now needs permanent care and Mr Cush said the opinion of experts was that her condition will only slightly improve over the course of her life. She is aware regarding her condition and has difficulty communicating but can do so with the assistance of her family members. Ms Surlis has three grown children and four sisters living nearby her.
It is thought that if she had been sent to Beaumont when she first attended the hospital in Sligo she could have been treated properly and made a full recovery.
Bernadette Surlis is now restricted to a wheelchair and lives in a nursing home. Mr Justice Kevin Cross was advised that the misdiagnosis negligence settlement means she may realise her wish to return home in the future.
Judge Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the medical negligence settlement was a “reasonable and very good one” and that he hopes it will lead to Ms Surlis returning to live at home.