Gastric Cancer Misdiagnosis – Mrs R
10/01/20 | Misdiagnosis Claims
Mrs R attended her GP complaining of upper abdominal pain, nausea and feeling bloated. She was prescribed omeprazole and sent for a scan of her gallbladder and blood tests. She was diagnosed with a vitamin B12 deficiency but had no explanation or treatment for her symptoms, which remained.
Because her symptoms continued, Mrs R attended her GP on a number of subsequent occasions over the following 18 months. Over that time she also developed a feeling of food sticking in her throat and suffered unintended weight loss.
Approximately 18 months after having first attended her GP, Mrs R awoke one morning with extreme abdominal pain and was referred to her local hospital where she was admitted. There she underwent an emergency laparotomy which found a gastric perforation. As a result she underwent a colectomy and formation of an end ileostomy. Following further tests, she was diagnosed with gastric cancer.
Initially, it was planned that there would be surgery to further resect the tumour following chemotherapy. However, after the chemotherapy further metastatic disease was discovered, and she then received palliative care until her death six months later.
The claim was pursued on the basis that there was an unreasonable delay by the general practitioner in referring Mrs R for further investigations despite unexplained symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, food sticking in her throat and unexplained weight loss. Had a referral been made earlier, she would have had other treatment options available to her which would have lengthened her life, although not have provided a cure.
Initially the Defendants denied both breach of duty and causation and proceedings were issued. However, the claim settled very shortly before trial for £60,000, of which £17,500 represented general damages for pain and suffering, and £12,980 was the statutory bereavement award.
This case was led by Elliot Clarke.
NOTE: While our case studies are designed to give an indication of the outcomes that can be achieved in these circumstances, the compensation awarded in individual cases can vary significantly due to a range of factors, including effects on life expectancy, the severity of the negligence that took place, and the financial impact.
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