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A nine-year-old girl who claimed her hearing loss diagnosis was delayed by a number of years has settled a High Court action for €135,000. 
The court was told Emily McDonald was not diagnosed with hearing loss until she was three years of age and recalled for an audiological assessment as part of a Health Service Executive (HSE) review. 
Her counsel, Hugh O’Keeffe SC, instructed by solicitor Ciaran Tansey, told the court it was their case that there was an alleged delay of between two to three years in the diagnosis. 
The claims were denied. 
Emily, of Hawthorn Drive, Roscommon town, had, through her mother Edel McDonald, sued the HSE. 
It was claimed there were a number of failures in the girl’s audiological management. Her hearing was found to be normal at birth, but she failed a distraction test at 10 months. Her hearing was tested a few months later and reported to be normal, it was alleged. 
The failed distraction test should have raised a suspicion regarding the possibility of temporary or permanent hearing loss, her case claimed. The audiological test was allegedly not carried out in a soundproofed room, she alleged. 
The child was recalled for audiological assessment as part of the HSE Look Back Review in 2017. 
A further hearing test in February 2018 identified the hearing loss and she received grommets a week later. 
It was claimed there was a failure to provide adequate or consistent auditory input during the child’s optimal time for development before May 2017, when hearing loss was diagnosed. 
The claims were denied. 
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said it was fair and reasonable. 
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