Orpen Franks Solicitors
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Misdiagnosis of Cancer in Ireland

Category:General News, Medical Negligence News, News 11 Nov 2015

The implications of medical misdiagnosis are often devastating, not only for the patient but also for their family. This is especially so with regard to Cancer and in particular with Colon Cancer or Colorectal Cancer which is another name for Bowel Cancer. Colorectal Cancer was the second most common cause of death by Cancer in Europe in 2013. The resulting time delay can lead to a decreased chance of recovery with reduced options regarding treatment. What will often happen is whilst suffering from various symptoms a patient will visit their GP, a consultant or a hospital and that visit will have failed to produce an accurate diagnosis only for the particular condition to be revealed following a later visit.

The issue of Cancer misdiagnosis recently made national headlines earlier this year with the news that over 300 patients who underwent Colonoscopies at Wexford General Hospital were subsequently recalled by the Hospital for further testing having originally been given the all clear. The recall was prompted after 2 patients developed Cancer between bowel screenings having initially undergone screening at Wexford General Hospital as part of BowelScreen programme in 2013 and 2014. Patients have since become aware of a failure to identify bowel Cancer during the initial screening process.

It appeared upon review that it was by no means certain that the very end of the colon (bowel) was examined at the time of the initial Colonoscopies. A review was initiated due to concerns in relation to the quality of the screening of Colonoscopies between March 2013 and December 2014. Whilst the review was labelled a precautionary measure it undoubtedly created a great deal of additional and unnecessary worry for these patients and their families. It further highlighted the need for patients to be more vigilant to ensure they do not fall victim to such misdiagnosis, particularly with such a serious disease as Cancer.

Symptoms to be wary of which could indicate a misdiagnosis or Colorectal Cancer itself include:

• Dark patches of blood in the stool;
• Altered bowel movements (diarrhoea, constipation);
• Sensation of not being able to empty the bowel completely;
• Nausea and vomiting;
• Loss of appetite; and
• Constant and unexplained fatigue

If you require further information in relation to any of the issues raised above or if you suspect that you have been a victim of misdiagnosis please contact us. Our expert medical negligence solicitors specialise in Cancer misdiagnosis claims and can provide clients with immediate legal advice following what is a very traumatic time in their lives.

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