February 19, 2024
Sodium Valproate (Epilim) Inquiry
In November 2020, the Minister for Health, Mr Stephen Donnelly, announced that an inquiry would take place into the historical licensing and use of the epilepsy drug Sodium Valproate (also...
The Plaintiff in this matter was a woman who had a history of Raynaud’s disease and pulmonary hypertension.
She attended a Dublin hospital in order to undergo a routine heart catheterisation as part of her hypertension treatment. Previous catheterisations were performed through the right femoral vein, however on this occasion, her usual consultant wasn’t available and she was seen by a substitute doctor.
The substitute doctor told our client that he would do the procedure via the right arm and neck. Our client explained to him that this couldn’t be done due to her Raynaud’s disease and that it had always been done through the right femoral vein. However, the substitute doctor proceeded via the right wrist and neck and following the procedure, our client awoke to find that her right hand was black due to lack of blood supply.
Our client subsequently experienced infections arising from the procedure which ultimately led to the amputation of part of her right index and middle finger.
The woman instructed Lavelle Partners to investigate her circumstances and we obtained expert evidence from a UK-based consultant cardiologist. The expert confirmed that it is highly likely that the infection was caused by the procedure being done through the right wrist and neck. In particular, the expert showed that the infection was unlikely to have been caused by the natural progression of our client’s Raynaud’s disease, as only the hand used in the procedure had been affected. The expert confirmed that all of these complications could have been avoided if the procedure had been performed through the right femoral vein as had been done previously.
Proceedings were issued against the hospital and the case was successfully settled for a significant sum plus costs in advance of the trial date.
For more information, please contact Avril Scally, Partner and Head of the Medical Negligence Team or Nicholas Moore, Medical Negligence Solicitor.
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