Temple Street Hospital apologises to parents over baby's death

Tuesday 23 April 2013 22.15
High Court approved a settlement in case taken by Kaiden Costello's mother
High Court approved a settlement in case taken by Kaiden Costello's mother

Temple Street Children's Hospital has apologised to the parents of a ten-month-old baby boy who died from a brain tumour after his diagnosis was delayed.

The High Court approved a settlement of €180,000 in a case taken by the mother of the baby boy for wrongful death and nervous shock.

Kate Costello from Santry in Dublin said the health service had failed her son who would still be with them today if he had received adequate treatment.

The High Court was told Kaiden Costello had an 80% chance of living to the age of five if he had received a timely diagnosis and the correct treatment.

Kaiden was born in September 2008 and was a healthy baby.

At around six months old he started to refuse food.

He was admitted to Temple Street in April 2009 where he was diagnosed as "failing to thrive" with no known cause.

The situation continued over a number of weeks with investigations showing zero findings.

Senior Counsel for the family John O’Mahony said the baby's parents had protested about the delay in diagnosing his condition and had expressed their concerns.

He told the court "eventually on June 24 2009 an MRI scan was carried out" which showed Kaiden had a brain tumour.

Along with the delayed diagnosis, the hospital also failed to give him the appropriate treatment, the court was told.

Mr O’Mahony said chemotherapy should have been used as a first line of attack to reduce the size of the tumour before operating but it was not given.

Instead he underwent surgery with catastrophic effects and later died.

The hospital did not admit liability until yesterday.

The case came before the court today for approval of a settlement totalling €180,000 for wrongful death and for nervous shock for Kaiden's mother Kate who was psychologically traumatised after her son's death.

In an apology read to the court, Temple Street Hospital CEO Mona Baker apologised to the family for the trauma arising out of Kaiden's death while in the care of the hospital.

Ms Baker said she understood "neither this apology nor any compensation can negate the continuing heartache that you and your family must feel everyday".

She said: "I appreciate that this continues to be a very difficult time for you."

In the witness box, Kate Costello spoke of her devastation at her son's death.

"I feel in my heart Kaiden would still be here if he got proper care. I wish things had been done differently.

“I feel in my heart he would still be here if he was getting the best medical care. We have to live with this sentence for the rest of our lives."