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Family of tragic girl settles HSE action

THE heartbroken family of a young girl who died two days after being discharged from Cavan General Hospital reached an out-of-court settlement with the HSE yesterday for an undisclosed six-figure sum.

The HSE agreed to the settlement as the family's lawsuit was about to be heard at the High Court yesterday.

Brian and Rosemary Sheridan, of New Line, Cootehill, Co Cavan, sued the former North Eastern Health Board claiming negligence and a breach of care toward their daughter Frances Sheridan (9).

Frances died in an ambulance en route to hospital on February 1, 2004. She had presented at the hospital's A&E unit less than 48 hours earlier complaining of stomach pains after having her appendix out three weeks previously.

Counsel for the family, Eoin McGonigal, said Frances was examined and X-rayed at the hospital and discharged, even though she was still ill.

Her condition quickly deteriorated during the early hours of February 1. An ambulance was called but she was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

The inquest in 2005 heard that she had been suffering from a trapped bowel due to scar tissue that formed following the appendix operation.

Coroner Dr Mary Flanagan was told the junior doctor who examined her at the A&E wasn't able to access her medical file when she presented at A&E.

The Sheridans took action against the HSE for damages and wrongful death, prompting an apology by the HSE yesterday for "various failings in the treatment and care" afforded to the girl which resulted in her death.

The amount of the settlement was not disclosed in court.

Irish Independent