A woman has her Wenicke Korsakoff claim settled out of court for undisclosed amount. Ms Avril Doyle developed the psychosis after alleged negligence by her surgeon,.
Doyle (46) was described to Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill at the High Court as a happy and vivacious person prior to undergoing a laparotomy to treat multiple abdominal adhesions in July 2005.
SHe was discharged ten days after her operation, but had to re-admitted for further surgery on August 2 2005 after her condition worsened. She underwent another laparotomy, during which part of her small bowel had to be removed.
It was alleged that, during this operation, medical staff failed to administer the vitamin thiamine as part of Avril’s intravenous feeding and she suffered brain damage as a result. It was claimed in the case brought through Avril’s husband, Dick, that staff failed in their duty to monitor, test and review her “total parental nutrition” management.
As a result of this alleged negligence, the court heard how Avril developed memory problems, became increasingly disorientated and suffered impairment to her cognitive linguistic function – a symptom commonly witnessed in cases of dementia.
After treatment Avril returned home in April 2006 to be cared for by her husband and, more recently, by a specially employed care assistant. She continues to have problems with dizziness, fatigue, emotional fits and depression.
One week into the trial, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill was told that the claim had been settled for an undisclosed figure and without admission of liability except for the failure to provide a nutritionist at the hospital during the surgery.