Ukrainian pensioner paralysed after stroke hours after attending ED settles High Court action

Ukrainian Pensioner Paralysed After Stroke Hours After Attending Ed Settles High Court Action
Iaroslava Arkypenko is completely paralysed and can only communicate through eye movements. Photo: iStock
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High Court reporter

A Ukrainian woman who has locked in syndrome after allegedly suffering a massive stroke almost seven hours after she was brought to the Emergency Department (ED) of a Dublin hospital by ambulance has settled a High Court action for €250,000.

Pensioner Iaroslava Arkypenko is completely paralysed and can only communicate through eye movements; eyes closed for yes, and eyes open and looking up for no.


The 73-year-old had sued St Vincent’s Healthcare Group over the care she received at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin after she was brought to the emergency department on September 27th, 2022 at around 7.30pm in the evening and was complaining of dizziness and nausea.

It is claimed she was seen by a doctor after 10pm but after 2am on September 28th, she suffered a massive stroke.

In the proceedings, it was alleged that at 2.15am on September 28th, the woman’s son called the nursing staff as the pensioner was slumped to one side in a chair, and she had dense left sided weakness.

St Vincent’s Healthcare Group denied all the claims and Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told that the settlement sum represents 50 per cent of the damages to reflect the litigation risks in the case.


Counsel Sara Moorehead SC instructed by solicitor Niall Kiernan told the court it was a very tragic case and Ms Arkypenko is now cared for in a nursing home in the Leinster region. Counsel said as part of the settlement the Ukrainian woman can remain at the nursing home under the Fair Deal scheme.

She said the woman had been visiting her family in Dublin on September 27th, 2022. Ms Arkypenko’s son returned to the house to find his mother lying down and complaining of dizziness and vomiting.

The woman was brought to the ED at St Vincent’s Hospital, where counsel said she was classified at triage level 3.

Counsel said technically this suggested she should be seen within an hour, but Ms Arkypenko was not seen until 10pm and by a doctor at 10.30pm.


Counsel said the woman was diagnosed as doing well, but the doctor was then called away to an emergency. At 2.15am, Counsel said Ms Arkpypenko had a massive stroke.

She said part of their case was if the woman had a scan before 10.30pm she could have been sent to Beaumont Hospital where she would be given treatment.

In the proceedings, it was claimed there was an alleged failure to detect the onset of acute stroke despite the history and presenting complaints.

It was also claimed the woman was not referred for emergency CT imaging in a timely manner, which it was claimed would have identified an acute posterior circulation stroke, and she could have been transferred to Beaumont Hospital for emergency mechanical thrombectomy prior to her deterioration in the early hours.


It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to consider the possibility of onset of acute stroke despite the obvious symptoms being presented and noted.

There was, it was further claimed, an alleged failure to detect or diagnose acute stroke in the woman in a timely manner so as to ensure that in the event of a serious case she would be given appropriate emergency treatment in order to prevent a catastrophic outcome of Locked In syndrome.

All the claims were denied.

Noting the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said that he thought it was fair and reasonable considering the litigation risk in the case.

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