Hospital pays $2.4million to woman left quadriplegic, missed diagnosis

Hospital is ordered to pay woman $2.4million after a misdiagnosis left her a quadriplegic

  • SA Grandmother sued hospital over failure to diagnose bacterial spinal infection 
  • Tests said she ‘likely had a bacterial infection’ but was diagnosed with tonsillitis 
  • Flinders Medical Centre were ordered to pay Edita Siroky $2.4million in damages

A hospital has been ordered to pay $2.4million to a woman who was left a quadriplegic after she was misdiagnosed.

Edita Siroky sued Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide over its failure to recognise a bacterial spinal infection. 

The Czech-born grandmother was treated at the hospital several times, beginning on February 14, 2018, after being transported from Noarlunga Hospital. 

Ms Siroky reported having a sore throat which made it painful to swallow as well as a sore neck, dry cough, fever and vomiting, the South Australia Supreme Court heard. 

Despite tests indicating she ‘likely had a bacterial infection’ she was diagnosed with tonsillitis, discharged with a prescription and told to go see her own doctor. 

Adelaide’s Flinders Medical Centre (pictured) has been ordered to pay $2.4million to a woman left quadriplegic due to a misdiagnosis

But two days later Mrs Siroky was back in the hospital’s emergency department with worse shoulder and chest pain that was so bad it was ‘making her cry’.

She had more blood tests that again indicated she had a bacterial infection which was getting worse.

After several days she was prescribed a steroid called prednisolone and was again discharged, the Advertiser reported.

‘The administration of the steroid prednisolone caused the rapid progression of Mrs Siroky’s discitus and development of a spinal epidural abscess,’ the statement of claim said.

On February 27, 2018, Mrs Siroky collapsed in the carpark of her chiropractor’s office and was rushed to Flinders Medical Centre and admitted to the intensive care unit.

The tests then conducted confirmed she had an infection, as well as spinal damage.

Mrs Siroky said the hospital was negligent by not using a translator or an adequate health history and failing to give her antibiotics.

‘As a result of the negligence of the hospital in failing to diagnose and treat Mrs Siroky’s infective process, she suffered discitus of the cervical spine and the infection spread with formation of an abscess,’ the claim said.

Mrs Siroky collapsed in the carpark of her chiropractor’s office and was rushed to Flinders Medical Centre and admitted to the intensive care unit. Pictured is a South Australia emergency ambulance

‘Left untreated (it) grew, causing cord compression and subtotal quadriplegia.’

Mrs Siroky claim sought damages for her injuries, loss of enjoyment of life, psychiatric issues and her need for ongoing treatment.

The hospital said it ‘admits that as a result of its negligence the plaintiff was rendered a subtotal quadriplegic’ who had and would require medical treatment.

‘The respondent admits that the applicant’s capacity to function physically and enjoyment of life has been impaired by the physical injuries but denies that the applicant suffered psychological injuries.’

A $2.4m settlement for damages was reached with the South Australian Government, on behalf of the hospital. 

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