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Hospital left me disabled claims boy (9)

A NINE-year-old boy who suffers from celebral palsy has sued the National Maternity Hospital over alleged failures in diagnosing and treating bacterial meningitis after his birth.

Mark Duffy, of Glen Drive, The Park, Cabinteely, Co Dublin, lost an eye and was left profoundly disabled.

He is suing the National Maternity Hospital for alleged negligence through his mother Linda Duffy. The hospital denies the claims against it.

It is claimed the hospital failed to diagnose or treat Mark for meningitis or to monitor him properly, allegedly resulting in him having a permanent and irreversible brain injury.

It is also claimed the hospital failed to have any adequate regard to the signs and symptoms being displayed by the child which allegedly clearly indicated the possibility of bacterial meningitis.

In its defence the hospital denies there was any failure to diagnose or treat Mark for meningitis or to carry out a lumbar puncture in a proper or timely manner or to appropriately monitor or treat him.


The hospital also denies that Mark's cerebral palsy was caused or contributed to by the hospital's negligence.

The hospital says there was no indication prior to the child's transfer to Temple Street Children's Hospital that a lumbar puncture was necessary.

In addition, when that procedure was performed it yielded sterile fluid which, the hospital claims, meant there either never was a pseudomonas meningitis or the treatment already provided had cleared the infection.

Ms Duffy said Mark was born by emergency C-section at 30 weeks gestation on July 18, 2002. On July 21 he was noted to be mildly jaundiced and was started on treatment. This continued until July 23 when he was given a blood transfusion.

It is claimed that on July 31 the child had a low grade fever and was noted to have a swollen right eye. He was referred to Temple Street Children's Hospital. On August 1, Mark suffered seizures which were eventually controlled. While he was in Temple Street his medications were changed to ensure appropriate antibiotic cover for the possibility of meningitis.

The hearing continues today.