After she waited nearly four years for her medical negligence claim to be initiated, one 55 year old woman from Tipperary told accident claims specialists that her breast cancer diagnosis was subject to so many laboratory errors that it was delayed by 18 months.
Saying that she feels like the State Claims Agency let her down, the woman, who is known to the media only as ‘Patient A,’ recently recounted her struggle to claim personal injury compensation.
Referred in 2005 to Limerick, Barrington’s private hospital, for a lump she discovered on her breast, the Tipperary woman underwent a biopsy in September and sent the sample to University College Hospital Galway in order to undergo testing. Patient A was given the all-clear once the sample returned a result of negative.
A second sample was taken in March of 2007 on the heels of concerns raised by the woman. It too came back as negative after also being sent to UCHG.
However, shortly after that a third sample had been sent out to Cork’s Bon Secours Hospital, it had been identified as positive for cancer. The samples that preceded this one were also reviewed, indicating that not all three samples also tested positive, which led to a gland removal and radical mastectomy.
Given chemotherapy at Limerick’s Mid-Western Regional Hospital, the patient was urged to contact the Health Information and Quality Authority after the hospital’s consultant medical oncologist raised concerns about what she had gone through.
In the resultant investigation, it was determined that the errors might have been discovered if only there had been an interdisciplinary team meeting between the staff at Barrington’s and the pathologists at UCHG.