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The family of an elderly woman who died of cancer is considering legal action after they discovered a tumour had been spotted eight months earlier but had not been acted upon by the hospital.
The 66-year-old woman went into hospital for treatment for a broken arm in 2013. While she was there she had an X-ray for a suspected chest infection whereupon the tumour was first seen. Despite this, it was not treated at the time. Eight months after, she died after being admitted to hospital with pneumonia.
The family of the woman, who was also a grandmother, did not know the hospital had knowledge of the 4.4 cm tumour until after she had died. They said she had deteriorated before their eyes and that she had said she wished she was dead because of the pain she was in. One family member said: “She’d lost all of her dignity. She was so thin you could see the bones sticking out of her.”
The hospital has now apologised for the error and has said it was sorry for not acting on the results from the chest X-ray, the family is now considering legal proceedings. They say she could have lived a bit longer and could have benefitted from cancer support services. They said that the pain they feel is ‘terrible’ and questioned whether or not this had happened to other people.
Despite the misdiagnosis, a report said that it was not likely that an earlier diagnosis would have made any difference to the woman’s life expectancy. The report said that it would be possible for the tumour to have already spread when it was initially seen on the X-ray and at that point, there could have been the offer of palliative care, but that it is probable that she would have died from the same condition even if it had been detected sooner. The hospital’s foundation trust said that lessons can be learned from it and that it will continue to review processes with the aim of lowering the chances of similar incidents happening.
If you or a member of your family has experienced any form of medical negligence then you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim.
For more information on making any kind of personal injury claim, including a medical negligence or misdiagnosis claim, please contact our no win, no fee solicitors at Jefferies. We are experienced in all areas of personal injury and strive to get the maximum amount of compensation for our clients. Please call our accident injury claim line or fill in our online claim form.
Published 11th February 2015.