Failure To Diagnose Leads To £10,000 Award
Jill was 44 years old she began to notice a change in her bowel movements, with increased frequency and the presence of blood in her stools. Three months later she visited her GP, who performed an abdominal and rectal examination. A provisional diagnosis of piles was made.
Nevertheless, Jillís 70 year old father had just been diagnosed with bowel cancer. Taking her family medical history into consideration, Jillís GP made an urgent referral to the Rectal Bleeding Clinic. Another three months later she was reviewed by a specialist. While a rigid sigmoidoscopy to 12cms revealed no abnormality, a digital rectal examination showed some blood mixed in with the stool. The specialist wrote a letter to Jillís GP indicating he would arrange some blood tests and a colonoscopy.
However, there was no follow-up appointment as an administrative error meant a colonoscopy was never arranged. Jill began to feel more and more tired, and started to suffer from diahorrea with increased blood in her stools. A year after her initial visit to her GP, Jill returned to her surgery who confirmed that no results had been received from the hospital. Both Jill and her GP then contacted the hospital to enquire as to when a colonoscopy was to be performed.
On 22 September 2006 Jill underwent a colonoscopy procedure which revealed she had a tumour at the proximal sigmoid colon. A diagnosis of colonic carcinoma T3 N2 tumour with 6 of 15 lymph nodes positive was made. She underwent a colectomy to remove the tumour, and received adjuvant chemotherapy. Jillís last scan in March 2008 showed her to be free of disease.
Jill contacted Glynns to discuss whether her case amounted to medical negligence. We discovered that due to the administrative error Jillís diagnosis was delayed for a period of nine months. She suffered increased symptoms during this time, as well as a large amount of anxiety upon learning of the delay, neither of which would have happened if a delay had not occurred.
The hospital admitted a breach of duty for nine months additional pain and suffering and consequential anxiety on learning of the delayed diagnosis. Jill was awarded £15,000 compensation.
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