Medical Negligence*

Narcolepsy Claims*

At Tracey Solicitors, our specialist medical negligence team comprehend the physical, emotional, and financial ramifications stemming from instances of Narcolepsy. If you or a family member have suffered injuries due to negligent behaviour, you can rest assured that we will robustly advocate for your legal entitlements, all the while offering a compassionate and understanding approach when you decide to pursue a claim.

Narcolepsy Claims*

In recent years there has been an influx in children being diagnosed with narcolepsy after receiving the Pandemrix vaccine during the swine flu pandemic in 2009 and 2010. The Irish Government made an agreement with the manufacturers of the swine flu vaccines that they would carry the legal risks in the event of patients experiencing any vaccine related harm such as developing narcolepsy.

Narcolepsy claims can be emotionally difficult for family members and quite complex. Which is why it is important that you speak with a medical negligence solicitor as soon as you can. They will help you determine if you have a case.

What is Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a neurological condition that impacts the ability to regulate normal sleep patterns.

It is a sleep disorder that can make it hard to stay awake for long periods of time causing people to feel drowsy during the day and be prone to falling asleep suddenly.

The exact cause for Narcolepsy is not known, it is associated with a deficiency of a chemical called hypocretin also known as orexin that regulates wakefulness and REM sleep.

There is no cure for narcolepsy, it is a life-long condition. But there is medication and lifestyle adjustments that can help manage the symptoms to minimize their impact on daily life.

Types of Narcolepsy

There are two main types of Narcolepsy which are type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 is known as narcolepsy with cataplexy, which is identified as a sudden weakness in muscle tone that cannot be controlled which is triggered by strong emotions such as laughter, anger, and shock.  People diagnosed with type 1 narcolepsy often have low levels of the brain hormone hypocretin with an 85% to 95% reduction in the number of neurons that produce hypocretin. Not having enough orexins results in the body having a hard time staying alert and awake.

Type 2 is known as narcolepsy without cataplexy, people do not usually experience a loss of muscle control. People diagnosed with type 2 narcolepsy typically have normal levels of hypocretin and less severe symptoms.

Symptoms

Not every individual that has type 1 or type 2 narcolepsy experiences the same symptoms.

1. Excessive sleepiness during daytime.

Sudden attacks of sleep are common for people with narcolepsy and may happen at any time. The length of time a sleep attack lasts for everyone will vary; some people may only have ‘microsleeps’ lasting seconds compared to others who may fall asleep for longer episodes of several minutes.

2. Sudden loss of muscle tone.

This is known as cataplexy and it can cause without warning slurred speech or complete weakness of muscles, these symptoms can last minutes.

3.Changes to REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.

Sleep is made up of different types of brain activity known as non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM). Normal sleep typically starts with NREM sleep followed by a short period of REM sleep where your brain activity increases, and you might dream which can be commonly known as active sleep.

People with narcolepsy tend to enter REM sleep more quickly and transition in and out of REM sleep more often than individuals without narcolepsy. These transitions in and out of REM sleep are a reason why people with narcolepsy can suddenly fall asleep without warning.

Other symptoms include:
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Hallucinations
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Problems with memory

It is important to note that all individuals with Narcolepsy will not experience every symptom mentioned above, and the severity of symptoms can also vary. Consulting with a healthcare professional can help to accurately diagnose and manage narcolepsy.

Common Causes of Narcolepsy

  • Genetic history
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Injury to the brain
  • The flu vaccine Pandemrix
  • Hormonal changes that occur for example during puberty or menopause.
  • Sudden change in sleep patterns
  • An infection such as a streptococcal infection or swine flu.

At Tracey Solicitors LLP, our dedicated medical negligence solicitors have years of experience in helping people deal with traumatic medical injury claims. We understand the injuries, both physically and emotionally, that you have suffered and have supported and helped many people in similar situations proceed with medical negligence claims in Ireland over the past 30 years.

Government Intervention Regarding Manufacturing Vaccines

The Irish Government made an agreement with the manufacturers of the swine flu vaccines that they would carry the legal risks in the event of patients experiencing any vaccine related harm such as developing narcolepsy.

The Irish Government reached an agreement with the swine flu vaccine manufacturers, that the government would take on the responsibility for legal risks if any patients were to suffer vaccine-related harm, such as developing narcolepsy.

The Irish Government and the manufacturers of the swine flu vaccines reached an agreement, where the Irish Government would take responsibility for any legal risks if patients were to suffer vaccine-related harm, such as developing narcolepsy.

The manufacturers of swine flu vaccines and the Irish Government entered into an agreement, wherein the government assumed liability for any legal risks arising from vaccine-related harm, such as the development of narcolepsy in patients.

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Our helpful team

Need Help? Just Ask.

For more information and a confidential discussion on your medical negligence claim, call Elaine Hickey, Head Medical Negligence Solicitor, on +353 1 649 9900 and tell her about your medical malpractice case or reach out via email to ask@traceysolicitors.ie and she can call you back.

How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist medical negligence solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Speak with a solicitor

    If you feel that you were not provided with appropriate medical treatment whilst under the care of a medical professional which resulted in injury due to the actions or in-actions of a medical professional, then speaking with a medical negligence solicitor following the injury is imperative. Medical negligence is a complex topic in Irish law. Speak to a medical negligence solicitor when bringing a claim forward. This ensures that no essential steps are missed throughout the legal process. Bringing a claim forward without having spoken to a solicitor can delay your claims procedure. A solicitor can help to determine your medical negligence time limit claim.

  2. Obtain medical records

    In order to make a claim, it must be established and proven that the injury sustained was caused by the medical negligence of the doctor or medical staff tasked with your medical care. Therefore, after having spoken with you about your case, your solicitor will then request access to your medical records. At this stage, the solicitor will have your medical records assessed by an independent medical expert. This will help determine whether a surgeon or medical staff who treated you had, in fact, administered substandard medical care and if negligence was the cause of the injury and if your injuries/outcome could have been avoided if the appropriate level of medical care had been adhered to.

  3. Letter of Claim

    If the independent medical expert has concluded that medical negligence has occurred, then your solicitor will draft a Letter of Claim to the medical practitioner who treated you. A Letter of Claim will outline the nature of your case and invites the medical practitioner to settle your case. The next steps involved are heavily dependent on your case and response to your Letter of Claim and will determine whether your case will be brought to court or settled outside of court. Your solicitor will be on hand every step of the way to guide you through this process.

At Tracey Solicitors LLP, our dedicated medical negligence solicitors have years of experience in helping people deal with traumatic medical injury claims. We understand the injuries, both physically and emotionally, that you have suffered and have supported and helped many people in similar situations proceed with medical negligence claims in Ireland over the past 30 years.

For more information and a confidential discussion on your medical injury claim, phone 01 649 9900 or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case, where you can speak with a member of our team straight away.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a medical negligence claim you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses, you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a medical negligence injury.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the medical negligence injury, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital) and future care costs. Learn more about Special Damages.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim, which can vary depending on the situation. When taking into account how long medical negligence claims take, it is important to remember that medical negligence cases require certain time frames in place within which you can bring a claim. For medical negligence claims it is two years less a day following the date of the incident or two years less a day following the date that a person made the connection that their illness or injuries were a result of medical negligence. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Medical Negligence Involving Children

In an unfortunate incident where a child is subject to medical negligence, the process of making a claim differs from that of an adult. A minor may be in a position to bring a claim forward in the first two years following their 18th birthday.

Learn more about Legal Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors LLP

We draw on more than 35 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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