A young girl whose eardrum was perforated and who suffered some hearing loss after an attempt was made at a hospital A&E to have a bead that was lodged in her ear removed, has settled a High Court action for over €250,000.
Hannah Jones was six years of age and making a necklace with beads when she inserted a bead in her left ear and had to be referred to Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin to have it removed.
It was claimed that during the attempted removal of the bead at the emergency department over 10 years ago the young girl suffered a traumatic perforation of her left eardrum resulting in hearing loss. It was further claimed that the child was crying hysterically, began to bleed, and was in severe pain.
The hospital admitted negligence and a breach of duty in relation to the care and treatment given to the young girl when she attended the emergency department on January 4, 2012.
Her counsel Bruce Antoniotti SC, instructed by Cranny solicitors, told the court that Hannah’s mother, after the attempted removal was unsuccessful, was told she would be referred to the hospital Ear, Nose and Throat Department but after five days when there was no referral, she contacted the hospital and was told to come back to A&E.
Counsel said Hannah’s mother was told that the bead would have to be removed under general anaesthetic and on January 12, 2012, the child had the operation. The bead, counsel said, was embedded deep in the canal and a perforation of the eardrum was noted.
A review later confirmed a 40-decibel conductive hearing loss in the left ear. Counsel said Hannah a few years later had a hearing aid fitted which has been successful.
Hannah Jones, Hampton Wood Road, Meakstown, Dublin, who is now aged 16 years had through her mother Jillian Jones sued Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin, over her care when she attended the A&E Department in January 2012 when a bead was stuck in her ear.
It was claimed there was a failure or neglect to appreciate the risk associated with the young child's condition on January 4, 2012, and an attempt was made to remove the bead when it was unsafe to do so, giving rise to the injuries complained of.
It was further claimed that there was a failure or neglect to provide expeditious medical intervention to the child and as a result, there was a delay which gave rise to the development of infection in the ear.
There was also, it was further claimed, a failure to exercise all due and reasonable care, skill, competence, diligence, and judgment in and about the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, management, care, and removal of the bead from the child's ear.
The hospital admitted negligence and a breach of duty on its part over the care and treatment afforded the young girl on January 4, 2012, when she attended A&E.
Mr Justice Paul Coffey said he had no hesitation in approving the €250,900 settlement which he said was fair and reasonable.