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Family's fury at diagnosis after X-ray report delay

THE family of a woman told that she has lung cancer has criticised the delay in reporting the finding of a chest X-ray two years ago which they believe would have given her better chances of survival.

The 72-year-old woman was diagnosed with cancer in both lungs at Kerry General Hospital (KGH) on Monday.

She was one of three patients who had been recalled for care following a radiological review at the hospital, the Irish Independent has learned.

The woman, from Lixnaw in Co Kerry -- who does not wish to be named because some of her relatives are not aware of her condition -- had her chest X-rayed at KGH in November 2009 after she was admitted with suspected pancreatitis.

Investigations revealed she had a stone near the liver duct, which was removed at Cork University Hospital (CUH) in March 2010.

During post-surgery treatment in KGH in June 2010 she was told there appeared to be "a question mark" over the November 2009 X-ray.

She was then sent for another X-ray, which revealed she had a tumour in her lung.

In October 2010, she underwent surgery to remove the tumour. In a follow-up appointment this week, she was told she had developed cancer in both lungs.

"We were told the reason the first X-ray went unreported was because there was no admitting consultant's name on her file but that's just not good enough," her daughter told the Irish Independent.

In a letter to the woman's daughter dated March 9, 2011, general manager of KGH, PJ Hartnett, accepted there had been an "unacceptable delay" in reporting on the chest X-ray taken on November 30, 2009, and he apologised sincerely for this.

In a statement, the HSE confirmed some patients were recalled for the purposes of a follow-up following clinical review.

Irish Independent