What is Audiology Negligence?
Audiology Negligence or missed diagnosis by an audiologist may result in long term medical issues or in some cases deafness.
Paediatric Audiology in Ireland has been the focus of reviews in recent years particularly in relation to missed diagnosis of hearing loss issues, and Coleman Legal have been engaged by families whose children have suffered medical issues as a result of substandard or negligence audiology hearing tests for these children.
If your child has suffered hearing loss as the result of missed diagnosis or medical negligence, you can discuss your situation with one of our medical negligence solicitors in confidence.
The HSE National Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Programme was implemented to ensure that newborn babies undergo a hearing loss screening within one month of their birth. Furthermore, its objective is to ensure that diagnostic audiology assessments are carried out on each child before the attainment of three months, and that audiological services and early intervention services are made available to babies in need of treatment before the attainment of 6 months of age.
This practice is in line with international standards and supports the contention that early detection is the most effective solution to hearing impairment amongst children.
Results of Misdiagnosis of Hearing Loss in Children
The result of a misdiagnosis of hearing loss, and/or delay in diagnosis can cause significant developmental issues for a child for the period during which they are untreated. Common issues include, but are not limited to, the following;
• Delay in vocabulary development;
• Delay in comprehension or sentence structure;
• Speech impairment;
• Poor academic achievement;
• Social functioning- isolation, anxiety, difficulty interacting with others and poor self-concept.
Hearing aids, cochlear implants, speech therapy and assistive listening devices are commonly used to treat and alleviate hearing impairment.Children who have gone undiagnosed for some time may require additional speech therapy, educational assistance and behavioural therapy in order to assist their growth and development in later years.
Hearing aids require replacement every 4-6 years on average, while speech therapy and behavioural therapy, together with educational assistance may prove to be an ongoing expense for an indeterminate amount of time into the future.
Types of Hearing Loss
- Conductive Hearing Loss
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss
- Mixed Hearing Loss
Conductive Hearing Loss
- Conductive Hearing Loss happens when sounds cannot pass through the outer and middle ear. This type of hearing loss can usually be fixed by medication or surgery.
Potential Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss:
- Fluid in your middle ear from colds or allergies.
- Ear infections
- Blocked Fluid via the Eustachian tube, which connects your middle ear and your nose.
- Hole in your eardrum
- Earwax stuck in the ear canal.
- An object stuck in your outer ear, e.g. a pebble or small bead.
- Deformation of the outer or middle ear.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
- Sensorineural hearing loss occurs after inner ear damage, and is the most common type of permanent hearing loss or damage.
Potential Causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss:
- A blow to the head
- Deformation of the inner ear
- Being subjected to loud noises or explosions
- Ototoxic Medicines* (medication that can damage the ear, resulting in hearing loss, tinnitus or vertigo (loss of balance/dizziness).
Mixed Hearing Loss
In some situations, conductive hearing loss happens at the same time as sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). This means that there may be damage or injury to the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear or nerve pathway to the brain. Anything that causes conductive hearing loss or SNHL can result in mixed hearing loss. The two together may make your hearing worse than it would be with only one type of hearing loss.
How We Can Help ?
Pursuing a medical negligence claim in Ireland can be daunting, especially if you are still recovering. Our experienced team of medical negligence solicitors in Dublin and nationwide can advise you of all legal remedies available to you at this stressful time. By easing as much of the stress associated with medical negligence claims as possible, our aim is to help you through the trauma of your experience with empathy and understanding.
If you have sustained an injury or contracted an illness due to a situation involving medical negligence and have questions surrounding an incident, please contact our Medical Negligence Solicitors today at Coleman Legal.
Coleman Legal can help you find out if you are eligible for compensation. If you are eligible for compensation, we will fight for you while you recover, ensuring your best interests are met and that you receive the best settlement or Court Award that is fair to you in the entirety of the circumstances.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.
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