Friday 24 May 2019

Seven patients whose cancer was missed by radiologist have died

University Hospital Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh
University Hospital Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Seven of the 11 patients whose cancer was missed by a radiologist at University Hospital Kerry have died.

It had previously been stated that four people had died, but yesterday it emerged that the figure has increased by three.

The South/South West Hospital group has said the 11 patients have had appropriate care. The case first came to light after the work of a locum radiologist at the hospital was examined.

Six radiologists have been involved in the review, which involves looking back at 46,000 scans carried out by the locum consultant.

The locum consultant radiologist was placed on administrative leave in late July 2017 and resigned in October that year. The review was carried out after a number of patients who were given the all-clear later returned to the hospital with symptoms in the summer of 2017.

Shock

As a result of this delay in diagnosis, these patients experienced a serious impact on their health. They were told the shock news that they were the victims of delayed diagnosis and had been given incorrect results. A number of the patients involved are taking legal proceedings,

A previous report on the review found that the locum radiologist, who was employed at the hospital for 16 months, did a large volume of work.

It said it did not wish to imply the harm done was exclusively attributable to the individual radiologist and there were "many factors which influence an individual's performance".

The report has a series of recommendations and an external review of the management of the hospital's radiology department. A key finding of the audit noted that while patients were exposed to risk, the majority of patients did not suffer any direct harm due to the diligence of their treating doctors.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News