Posted: June 11th, 2016
Dublin’s High Court have held a hearing for the claim of a woman who underwent allegedly necessary surgery after medics failed to diagnose her breast cancer.
Eileen Fennessy – aged sixty-nine from Pilttown in Co. Kilkenny – attended the nationwide “Breast Check” screening programme on the 25th November 2011. However, the retired schoolteacher alleges that the mammogram taken on that date was not correctly read, resulting in the failure to diagnose her breast cancer.
A year after the initial mammogram, Eileen attended her GP, who identified a large mass in her breast. Eileen was referred to the Waterford Regional Hospital for an ultrasound. A biopsy later confirmed that Eileen had a grade two carcinoma.
As soon as the correct diagnosis was made, Eileen was put on a course of chemotherapy. Regrettably, this did not have the desired effect and in April 2013 Eileen had a mastectomy. After her recovery, Eileen sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for medical negligence compensation.
In the claim, Eileen alleges that both the chemotherapy and the mastectomy would not have been necessary had the staff at the screening programme made a correct diagnosis in 2011. The claims as made against the Health Service Executives, who oversee the Breast Check initiative.
As the HSE denied that they were liable for Eileen’s injuries, the case proceeded to the High Court of Dublin, where it was overseen by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. Eileen’s barrister argued that the initial mammogram taken in 2011 should have warranted further tests. The failure to proceed with diagnostic tests put Eileen in danger, as her cancer could have worsened.
Eileen’s legal team also told the judge that, whilst she is currently in remission, her prognosis is “extremely serious and devastating”. The case continues.
Categories: Medical Negligence Claims Ireland