Medical Failures Lead to Bone Marrow Cancer
This medical negligence case was brought by a daughter on behalf of her father’s estate after he had sadly passed away at Tameside Hospital following a series of medical mistakes that lead to bone marrow cancer.
Failure to arrange appropriate scans and X-rays, as well as manage the referral process, directly led to a breach of duty of care by the hospital. It was alleged that the failure in the cancer diagnosis prolonged her father’s pain and suffering right up until his death.
Cancer Negligence Case
The medical negligence team at Pearson Solicitors secured a £25,000 settlement out of court against Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust. Whilst no amount of money can bring back this much loved father, the family hoped that once again lessons can be learnt.
The patient (Mr J) had no serious previous medical history, he successfully managed his type 2 diabetes and was the main carer for his wife.
His condition began with weight loss and constant back pain, he went to see his GP and was told to rest and take pain relief. However, over the course of only a few weeks Mr J’s condition worsened, with the addition of severe chest pains causing him to sweat profusely.
As a consequence he attended Tameside Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department where he was admitted for diagnostic investigation and treatment. The stated plan was for an x-ray of the lumbosacral spine area, an MRI of the spine and corresponding medications.
He was discharged and sent home with only pain medication and a referral for an echocardiogram with the GP. No further mention of the MRI scan was made and no referral was made to the musculoskeletal clinic.
Delays in diagnosis
Over 4 months from initially presenting to his GP Mr J’s pain had significantly increased and a chest X ray and cardiothoracic review found no cause for his continued, and by now unbearable pain.
Finally, after he was in such a poor state, had lost 2 stones in weight and been immobile for almost 4 weeks his daughter called an ambulance. He was admitted to Tameside Hospital and again discharged home, being told that back pain is a long term issue and requires time to treat and resolve.
His daughter, (the claimant) was seriously unhappy with this and arranged for an x-ray of the lumbosacral spine which revealed a compression fracture. Only then was Mr J given an MRI scan where multiple lesions were revealed. A diagnosis of widespread multiple myeloma was given.
What is Multiple Myeloma?
Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that develops from abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow. It is often referred to as multiple myeloma as the bone marrow is affected in several areas of the body, such as in this case with the spine and ribs.
In the case of Mr J, his cancer of the spine was a secondary cancer to probable kidney, blood or prostate cancer and only palliative care was possible. Undergoing investigation for the primary cancer he contracted pneumonia, as well as sepsis and sadly passed away.
Speaking after the settlement, Head of Medical Negligence, Jacqueline White, said:
“Two of the symptoms of multiple myeloma are backache that lasts for months and weight loss. Our client’s father had both of these and as is the case here, a backache lasting for months can be a signal that multiple myeloma is affecting the bones in the spine or ribs.”
“An earlier MRI obviously would not mean a different diagnosis, but it could have saved many hours, weeks and months of pain and suffering for Mr J and his family could have made sure they had the time to spend with him,” added Jacqueline.
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