Thursday 22 February 2018

Litany of diagnosis failures revealed at hospitals

The revelations about X-ray screening at Tallaght Hospital are the latest in a series of diagnosis and overshight failures.

Autumn 2008: Ennis General Hospital was at the centre of controversy for failing to diagnose cancer in two women, who later died of the disease.

The family of the women, Ann Moriarty (53) and Edel Kennedy (26), called for an independent review of all X-rays read at the hospital after internal reports found serious errors.

November 2008: A report revealed that nine lung cancer diagnoses were missed by a locum consultant radiologist in Drogheda and Navan Hospitals between 2006 and 2007.

November 2007: At the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise, it emerged that nine women who had cancer were incorrectly given the all-clear. A HSE review resulted -- of more than 3,000 mammograms over a four-year period (2003--2007) and almost 600 ultrasounds over a two-year period (2005--2007) by a consultant radiologist.

November 2007: An external report revealed a pathologist at Cork University Hospital was guilty of "serious diagnostic errors" in failing to detect cancer or suspected cancer in 15 patients. The hospital employed a leading UK laboratory to review 166 cases and found diagnosis on several of these was "at variance" with the findings of the pathologist.

August 2007: At Barrington's Hospital in Limerick, two misdiagnosis errors led to an 18-month delay in diagnosing cancer in a 51-year-old Tipperary woman, who subsequently had to undergo a mastectomy.

Her tests were handled by University College Hospital, Galway, by two different pathologists in 2005 and 2007 and cancer was dismissed.

Health Minister Mary Harney announced the need for a review at Barrington's.

Summer 2006: Rebecca O'Malley, a mother of three from Co Tipperary, had a mastectomy at a London clinic after her breast cancer diagnosis was delayed by 14 months due to a laboratory error at Cork University Hospital in 2005. The HSE blamed random human error but there was evidence of systems failure.

1998: Consultant Michael Neary was suspended from Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, after 24 years as an obstetrician during which he performed 129 caesarean hysterectomies. The average for most obstetricians would be less than five in a career. He was later struck off the medical register.

Irish Independent

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