Hospital apologises after death of baby boy

Temple Street Children’s Hospital has apologised to the parents of a 10-month-old baby boy who died from a brain tumour after his diagnosis was delayed.

Kaiden Costello died just three days after brain surgery in Jul 2009. His counsel, John O’Mahony, told the High Court that earlier diagnosis and chemotherapy treatment would have likely saved the baby’s life and given him an 80% chance of surviving five years and possibly beyond. The baby had been admitted to Temple St when in Apr 2009 as he had gone off his food.

Failure to thrive was diagnosed but an MRI scan which diagnosed a brain tumour was not carried out until Jun 24.

Had the tumour been diagnosed at an earlier stage, it was claimed Kaiden could have availed of therapy leading to his survival.

Yesterday, his mother, Kate Costello settled her action against the hospital and the HSE for €180,000 as a result of the death of her son. Afterwards, she said the health service had failed their baby. “We would still have him today if he had received the proper care.”

As part of the settlement an apology was read to the court in which the hospital expressed sincere apologies to Ms Costello and Kaiden’s dad, Eric Hunter, and their families for the “trauma experienced by all of you arising out of the death of Kaiden while under the care of the Children’s University Hospital, Temple St”.

“I understand that neither this apology nor any compensation arising from Kaiden’s death can negate the continuing heartache that you and your family must feel every day. I appreciate this continues to be a very difficult time for you,” said CEO Mona Baker.

Counsel said the apology was paramount for the family.

Ms Costello told Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who approved the settlement, that she felt devastation and she just wished things had been done differently. “I feel in my heart he would still be here today if he got better medical care. I have to live with this sentence for the rest of my life.”

Kate Costello, of Domville Woods, Santry, Dublin, had sued Children’s University Hospital, Temple St, and the HSE as a result of the death of her son Kaiden in 2009.

It was claimed there was a failure to carry out an MRI scan of Kaiden’s head in a timely fashion and a failure to recognise it was possible he had a brain tumour and to carry out appropriate investigations accordingly.

It was claimed there was a delay in the diagnosis of the brain tumour so as to allow it to advance to a point where it caused his untimely death.

The €180,000 settlement included a €145,000 payout to Ms Costello for nervous shock as a result of the death of her son and €35,000 relating to the wrongful death.

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