Jennifer Waight, specialist clinical negligence lawyer based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) offices, has secured £5,000 for a patient after her hospital failed to inform her of abnormalities on her CT scan, causing six month delay of diagnosis of bowel cancer.
The claimant was a 60 year old woman who started to suffer with abdominal pains and constant tiredness. She went to see her general practitioner who prescribed her medication, ordered blood tests and asked for a stool sample. The results showed the claimant was anaemic and she was referred to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital’s upper gastrointestinal department.
An endoscopy was performed the following month which was clear. The claimant continued to suffer with the same symptoms 48 hours on and so returned, once again, to her GP. Another referral was made back to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
The following month she underwent a colonoscopy, two endoscopies, and an x-ray. She was informed the results of each were clear.
The claimant continued to suffer the same symptoms over the next four months and so returned back to her GP. Once again, a referral was made back to the upper gastrointestinal department. She was seen later that month and underwent a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis, which again she was told was clear.
The claimant’s symptoms of pain and tiredness continued for the next three months. She then underwent another CT scan, endoscopy, colonoscopy and a barium swallow, of all which were clear.
A year after her symptoms started, the claimant received a letter out of the blue from the hospital asking her to return for an endoscopy. Feeling confused she contacted her GP who confirmed he had not requested the endoscopy for her. Consequently, she rang the hospital to query the appointment. She was told that abnormalities were seen on her last CT scan, which had been taken four months earlier. Despite this the hospital had not contacted her sooner.
An endoscopy was performed the following month and this confirmed that the claimant was suffering from duodenal intestinal cancer. The claimant was warned that there was a chance this had spread to her liver.
Two months later she underwent a duodenal resection operation to remove the cancer. There was a total delay of six months from the time of the CT scan to the time the claimant underwent treatment. The delay had not affected her prognosis but the claimant underwent an additional period of pain and suffering and anxiety that her condition had not been diagnosed.
Jennifer Waight, acting for the claimant, was able to obtain £5,000 to compensate her for the six month delay in diagnosis and treatment of her bowel cancer.
Jennifer Waight specialises in cancer cases. If you would like to ask Jennifer a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any clinical negligence, contact her on 01892 701374 in confidence.