Any patient diagnosed with narcolepsy will know the serious detrimental impact this condition can have on the lives of sufferers. For the family members or loved ones of those dealing with the impact of narcolepsy, a great deal of emotional and financial resources are often required on a daily basis. For anyone who is dealing with narcolepsy which is a direct result of an error by a health professional, it may be possible to seek legal recourse by filing a claim against the individual or organisation at fault.
What is narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a neurological condition which affects approximately 1 in 3,000 people. Patients are unable to regulate normal sleep patterns. In effect, narcolepsy can be considered a sleep disorder and is characterised by impaired sleep and extreme levels of tiredness during the day.
Narcolepsy is believed to be related to a lack of the brain hormone, hypocretin, which regulates arousal, wakefulness, and appetite.
Many patients also suffer from cataplexy, a condition which causes sudden muscle weakness in response to strong emotions (e.g. laughter, surprise, and anger). As such, narcolepsy can have serious consequences for an individual’s ability to live and work.
Due to the nature of the symptoms of narcolepsy, patients are often not diagnosed immediately, instead suffering for months or even years without fully understanding the reasons for their extreme exhaustion.
How is narcolepsy caused by medical negligence?
Narcolepsy can be caused by a range of factors, including genetic inheritance and hormonal change during menopause, but in the specific context of medical negligence can be due to infection or certain pharmaceutical drugs.
It is known that a streptococcal infection can trigger narcolepsy, hence if this type of infection has been caused by a breach of duty of care by health service staff, this might be deemed narcolepsy due to medical negligence.
It is also believed narcolepsy can be caused by the administration of specific drugs used for vaccination.
How can narcolepsy be managed?
Unfortunately, narcolepsy cannot be cured; however with the correct medication and behavioural changes, it can be managed effectively. Many patients see significant improvement with the aid of counselling and support groups, scheduling sleep periods, avoiding stimulants, breaking down larger tasks into smaller ones, eating a healthy and nutritious diet, exercising, and finding ways to relax and manage emotions.
It is important to remember that many others are dealing with the effects of narcolepsy, and, therefore, you are certainly not alone. By seeking guidance and support from experts in this medical field, and people living with narcolepsy, you can learn to manage the symptoms, if only partially.
Can I bring a claim for narcolepsy due to medical negligence?
You may be able to bring a claim for narcolepsy due to medical negligence depending on the circumstances. To prove medical negligence, it must be shown:
- The standard of care you received fell below that of a competent health professional of the same level and;
- This negligence caused damage or injury.
If you have reason to believe you have suffered damage or injury as a result of a mistake made by a healthcare provider, we may be able to assist you.
Why should I consider Lavelle Partners Medical Negligence Solicitors to handle my case?
- Lavelle Partners have successfully managed many cases involving narcolepsy resulting from medical negligence.
- Our personal injury team, headed by partner, Avril Scally, who herself has over 15 years’ experience in medical negligence claims, place client care at the centre of everything they do.
- From the first moment you speak to one of our Solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with empathy and will only recommend advancing your case if we believe you have a valid case.
- We have both the legal expertise and understanding of the real-life challenges faced by those affected by medical negligence injuries.
- Our Solicitors will manage the process entirely on your behalf; compiling the information necessary for your case, including medical notes and managing the submission of your medical negligence claim.
By allowing us to handle your claim on your behalf, you can focus on what is most important, your recovery and care, or that of your family member or loved one.
For further information on making a claim following a diagnosis of narcolepsy due to medical negligence in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800 or email Avril Scally at [email protected]
*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.