People rely on their doctors and nurses in their hospitals to save their lives, especially when they are sick or they are in an emergency.
Staff in hospitals are expected to always be on top of their game, alert and ready to respond. But one unfortunate mistake caused a woman with cancer her life.
The victim is Jean Dowd, 68 years old who has lung cancer, but she was given the wrong diagnosis of the kind of terminal lung cancer that she had.
So, to sum it up, Jean was not receiving the treatment that she needed after all. She was given afatinib, but in truth, what she needed was chemotherapy. If she was given chemotherapy, she would have been living longer.
A few weeks, it was discovered that the biopsy sample of Jean was mixed up with another patient. The patient her details got mixed up with apparently had the same initials as her.
Tracing back to the timeline of events, Mirror detailed that Jean was first seen by consultant clinical oncologist Dr. Amy Roy in the chest clinic on March 15, 2017. She was diagnosed with lung cancer the same month.
Dr. Roy, who acted as a witness in court said that Jean’s result came through in early April. The results suggest that she was positive for a mutation in her lung cancer. The result also recommended that afatinib was the most appropriate drug for her.
However, shortly after taking the drug, she began suffering from the side effects which included an unpleasant florid rash and she also had a sore mouth.
She was then brought to Derriford Hospital on April 16 for severing constipation that already affected her ability to eat and drink.
Dr. Roy agreed to stop the treatment and referred her to a dietician.
On the evening of May 25, 2017, Dr. Roy received an email stating that the lab results of Jean were incorrect.
She then discussed the mistake with Jean’s family on June 6, 2017. But, at this point, Jean wasn’t put back on cancer treatment yet.
Thus, she continued to deteriorate. She was transferred to St. Luke’s Hospice in June, where she died on July 9.
In a statement, an apology was issued to her family.
“We apologized sincerely to Mrs. Dowd’s family during the inquest and we would like to repeat that apology publicly now. We are extremely sorry for the mistake, the delay in communicating this and the effects this had on Mrs. Dowd’s treatment.
“Although Mrs. Dowd had incurable cancer, if the error had not been made, there is a possibility that chemotherapy may have increased Mrs. Dowd’s life by a short period of time. Our senior pathologist gave the coroner detailed assurance regarding the changes that have been made do that an error of this type could not happen again.”