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Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer

5 July 2018

Blog, Clinical Negligence, News

The Claimant went back and forth to her GP surgery complaining of a strong smell in her urine. She continued to provide samples of urine to the surgery for testing, and the results returned as normal.

The Claimant attended the doctors on 14th January 2014 complaining of frequent urination during the night. She was given Trimethoprim, an antibiotic.

On 28th January 2014, the Claimant attended the doctors again as she was still getting up a lot through the night and going to the toilet. She was advised to cut her fluids down and that she was drinking too much during the day. A Urine sample was left for further investigation at that visit.

On 10th February 2014, the Claimant was again told that her urine sample results were normal and no further action was needed. She suspected that something was not right because she was having a lot of discomfort at that point. She was prescribed antibiotics and advised to leave another urine sample. The Claimant received the results for this sample on 19th February 2014 and she was again told that the results were normal and no further action was needed.

The Claimant continued to attend her GP practice leaving further samples and explaining the symptoms. On 21st February 2014, the Claimant saw her doctor to re-check the results so she had to give another sample. On 26th February 2014 the Claimant was again told that the sample was clear and no further action needed to be taken.

On 7th March 2014, there was a message left on the Claimant’s phone to ring the Surgery; who advised that she had a Urinary Tract Infection.

On 27th May 2014, the Claimant attended her 6 month routine check-up at the hospital and a smear was performed. The results received for this smear came back as abnormal. She required a further Colposcopy, and she was given an appointment to be seen on 16th June 2014.

The Claimant attended the appointment and she was then discharged back to the care of her GP for a regular 3 year check. The Claimant felt under a tremendous amount of stress and worry due to the abnormal smear results and urine samples, all whilst still grieving for the death of her daughter due to cancer.

A number of months then passed and the Claimant was experiencing worse pain when she was passing urine. She made further appointments at the surgery and she was seen on 11th September 2014. A further urine sample and blood was taken to be tested.  Later, the Claimant was told that the urine sample that she had left after that appointment had gone missing.

The Claimant left another urine sample. These test results were returned to her on 25th September 2014 as normal.

On 6th October 2014, the Claimant made another appointment and informed the GP that she was in a lot of pain when urinating, and that going to the toilet was really getting unbearable. She was very frustrated at this point and told her that she had had enough of feeling like that. The GP prescribed two different types of antibiotics and told the Claimant to make another appointment for 7 days.

The Claimant attended at her GP’s surgery on 13th October 2014, and advised that the pain was still there however it had subsided but she complained that there were still traces of blood in the urine. The GP extend the tablets previously given for a further 5 days.

On 27th October 2014, the Claimant saw a GP complaining of pain and discomfort and that there were still traces of blood in the urine. The Claimant requested to be referred to a Urologist but the GP claimed that a referral could not be made as there are certain procedures that must be complied with, and that the Claimant should wait another 2 weeks.

On 13th November 2014 the Claimant returned to the GP surgery where it was agreed that a referral be made to a Gynaecologist. The Claimant was surprised at this decision as she believe that she should have been referred to a Urologist because of all the bladder problems.

The appointment for the Gynaecologist was scheduled for 21st January 2015. While waiting for this appointment, the Claimant was still in a lot of pain when passing urine and the blood was still present.

On 8th January 2015, the Claimant phoned the GP Surgery as the pain was becoming too much and had been happening for too long. She explained this and asked if there was any way she could reschedule the appointment for an earlier date. The response was that if the GP referred her at that point, then she wouldn’t receive an appointment until after the date of her original appointment.

On 21st January 2015, the Claimant went to the hospital to see the Gynaecologist and an examination took place. Everything appeared to be okay, but they wanted to arrange for her to have an ultrasound of the abdomen and pelvis.

The Ultrasound appointment was booked in for the 3rd February 2015. The ultrasound scan of the kidneys and bladder showed that the Claimant’s kidneys were normal, but the wall of her bladder appeared irregular, which was said may explain why there was blood in the urine.

Further investigations were needed and that the Claimant would need a camera placed inside the bladder by a Urologist. The appointment was scheduled for 2nd March 2015 at the Endoscopy Suit, at 2nd Defendant’s hospital. The Claimant was seen by a doctor who stated that they wanted to arrange for her to have the camera inserted in theatre because there were a lot of irregularities on the walls of the bladder.

On 9th March 2015, the Claimant had an appointment at the hospital to attend the Nurse Led Pre-Admissions Clinic at the Hospital’s Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic.

The procedure took place on 20th March 2015 and resulted in a large part from the Claimant’s bladder taken away, she had transurethral resection of a bladder tumour and a stent insertion in place.

On 16th April 2015, an appointment at the hospital was attended for results. The Claimant was told that she has a Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer and informed that she had to start Chemotherapy, and that she would be looking at undergoing an operation to remove the bladder, known as a Cystectomy.

The diagnosis was G3 pT2 TCC of the bladder with extensive squamous differentiation, migrated stent on CT scan and no obvious extra vesicular disease. The proposed treatment was Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in the first instance with a view to a Cystectomy.

On 27th April 2015, the Claimant had an appointment at the hospital to remove the migrated stent.

On 11th May 2015, the Claimant attended the Sandra Chapman Centre for chemotherapy. The chemotherapy agents were: Cisplatin and Gemcitabine. Each cycle was over 4 weeks, and she had to attend on days 1, 8 and 15 per cycle. Therefore, the first sessions were on the 11th, 18th and 26th May. The Claimant also had to attend the Sandra Chapman Centre on 12th May for extra fluids, to protect the kidneys, as the treatment she was given could cause damage.

The Claimant began her second cycle on 8th June and had further treatment on 15th and 22nd. She also had the extra fluid for her kidneys on the 9th June.  At this point her legs, ankle and face were all swollen and her hair was beginning to thin.

A further cycle of Chemotherapy was given on 6th July 2015 and had more fluids on 7 July 2015, and then a top up on 13 July 2015.

3 Years post operation, the Claimant continues to be cancer free and she will have a 20% chance that the cancer will return if she stays cancer free for 5 years.

Initially, the Defendant refused to concede liability. A Letter of Claim was provided and the Defendant’s response was not forthcoming therefore, Court proceedings were issued. Upon negotiation, the claim initially settled for £73,000 on a provisional bases. The proviso was that, if the cancer was to return, the Claimant could bring a further action.

The Defendant failed to note the provisional element upon acceptance of the offer and negotiations were then made to remove the provisional element of the case. The case finally settled for £125,000.00 in full and final satisfaction.

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