Medical Malpractice: Surgery and Death as a Result of a False Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Medical Malpractice: A widow states that her family has been torn apart after her husband underwent unnecessary radical surgery. A father to four, had his right lung exorcised after doctors diagnosed cancer, specifically mesothelioma. But a biopsy on the “diseased” lung showed there was in fact nothing wrong.
The former shipyard welder never recovered and spent the next 5 months in and out of hospital before passing away last year. An inquest heard how the man had contacted his general practitioner after suffering from chest pains and radical weight loss in mid-2006. His wife explained how he was referred to Furness General Hospital.
She said: “We were told he definitely had mesothelioma and said there was nothing they could do. John asked how long he had and they said they couldn’t tell him. He had more tests and they said he would have to have his right lung taken out, but that would extend his life by three years. He made the decision to go ahead.”
The court was told that because of this diagnosis, surgery was set up to take place in Leicester by a thoracic surgeon. He said that if he had seen the original pathology report, he would have asked for more tests be carried out before surgery because it was inconclusive.
The hearing was told that at this point the doctors were aware that the man did not and had never had cancer, but they failed to tell him or his family.
A coroner slammed the health trusts involved, saying a lack of communication led to the mix up, adding he would be writing to all involved to make sure it never happened again.
Speaking after the inquest, his wife said despite the hearing, they were still at a loss to understand why and how it had happened. She said: “It’s taken a year to get to this stage and still we don’t have answers, but we will get them in the end.
“Our whole family has been ripped apart and let down by this system. We don’t want it happening to anyone else.
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