Kidney Cancer misdiagnosed as food intolerance

GPs and other medical professionals are being urged not to hesitate with referring patients for further assessment, after a Southport primary school teacher, whose stomach illness was initially diagnosed as a food intolerance, died of kidney cancer.

“Cut out bread”

Merseyside teacher, Miss Claire Tomlinson, tragically lost her seven month battle against kidney cancer. However the circumstances could have been very different had she been sent for further tests when she visited her GP. Instead she was led her to believe that the pain in her stomach was simply a food allergy, with her GP advising her to “cut out bread” as well as cutting out other food types from her diet, last September.

Five months after the initial assessment and after months of further excruciating pain. Miss Tomlinson was finally diagnosed with kidney Cancer. Tragically, by this point, the cancer had already spread to both her lungs and her brain, further limiting her chances of survival. After an attempted course of chemotherapy (which was unsuccessful) she sadly succumbed to the disease and passed away.

“Best to test”

Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident, as other cancer victims have had similar experiences, leading to massive complications in treatment. The case has prompted calls for medical professionals to not be worried about referring patients on for further testing, should there be any doubt at all about the cause of their problems.

Cancer shares symptoms with many other, less deadly illnesses like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and food intolerances like Miss Tomlinson was identified as having. In her case it took further pain escalation and a private body scan (not one prescribed by her GP) to reveal the extent of the damage.

Her parents believe that the care given could have been a little more urgent based on what she was telling her GP. In a statement her parents admitted ‘We’re not trying to say she could have been cured, we just think that the treatment should have been more urgent.”

“’Once you’ve alerted a doctor that something is wrong it’s in their hands and you have to push and push to make sure that people act.”

‘You can’t be frightened if there is something wrong, you have to do something about it because it’s not just going to go away.’

 

Serious Injury Claims with Sincere Law

The legal side

When it comes to suffering from cancer, it is not generally a priority to take legal council. Often it depends on the circumstances surrounding the development of the disease. In Miss Tomlinson’s case she told her parents not to pursue legal action, including after she died, as she felt it was too late.

Sometimes, however, legal aid is something a sufferer may wish to seek. In the role of a serious injury or illness, a solicitor can help with a network of contacts that can arrange and provide essential aftercare, such as fast tracked healthcare, counselling and the planning of future expenses for both the sufferer and their family.

Medical negligence cases take time, care and individual attention to see through. We always aim to achieve a personal service where the sufferer and their family feel they are relieved of a lot of pressure injury and illness can bring.

To have a chat with one of our team about any kind of injury or illness, you can call 01695 722 222 anytime between 9am and 7pm on weekdays. Our team are on hand to offer conscientious, free, impartial advice on what role Sincere Law can play in a serious injury or illness.

We also have an online form which allows you to give details of the problem. From there we can call you and further discuss the details.

Former carer wins legal battle over paralysis

A grandfather has won a legal battle following an epidural, which he requested not to have, was used and caused enough damage that he was left paralysed from the hip down.

The risks of an epidural injection Medical negligence claim made by carer suffering paralysis after epidural

Irreparable Damage

In 2010, Stephen Olney was admitted into hospital for a routine surgery. He asked not to be given an epidural injection as part of the operation when given the choice, in full knowledge of the risks associated with having one.

As a carer for over 35 years to people with spinal injuries, he had expert insight into the effects of failed epidurals in some of his charges. However, the doctors that performed the surgery decided to go against his wishes and sanctioned an injection which ultimately proved life changing.

Following surgery, he was not properly monitored and the damage escalated when his blood pressure dropped low enough that the blood flow to his spinal cord was deprived. This resulted in paralysis from the hip down and the damage was only spotted two days later, at which point he had an MRI scan and was told he would never walk again.

 

Medical Negligence Costs Lives

Although there are huge positives to having an epidural there are also risks. Perhaps the biggest risk factor with these procedures is what can happen after an operation. As evidenced by Mr Olney, not being monitored is what did the damage.

Doctors will do what they feel is best for a patient, but their judgement is not 100% accurate. Mr Olney’s case is by no means a one off and through our many years within the personal injury profession, we have handled many negligence cases that have carried the same kind of life changing repercussions as his.

Medical negligence is more likely to involve serious injuries given the circumstances surrounding them. Prescribing the wrong medicine can lead to negative side effects, bodily reactions and in the most severe circumstances, fatalities. A wrong move during an operation could see patients slashed or cut, again potentially causing major problems depending on the area of the body affected.

Epidural injection diagram - Sincere Law

 

Compensation isn’t a “Replacement”

Mr Olney’s case was settled at £2 million. It would be easy to mistake this as a  life changing figure, however, unfortunately for Mr Olney, no amount of money could replace the loss of use he is suffering in his lower body.

This is the toll often taken by serious injury sufferers. Compensation can offset new costs and treatment required post surgery, but it can only go some way towards resetting the sufferer’s life to how it was.

However, Mr Olney did admit that “What it can do is make life easier after the event”. The aim of compensation in serious injury cases is to financially secure an injured person’s life, dependant on circumstances. Paralysis for example could affect:

  • Working life (I.E Forcing retraining or retirement)
  • Physical Wellbeing (Could require physio or ongoing treatment)
  • Emotional wellbeing (Could require counselling)
  • Family Support (The injured person could be the main income earner)

In medical negligence cases of this nature, we often put together a specialist team together, who are responsible for planning and providing support for the victim and their families. The design behind this is to help try to rebuild a heavily altered life, as would be the case for Mr Olney. We would do this by supporting him and his family with alterations around the home, limiting the affect on them financially and ensuring they have access to the right level of care and support throughout the claim process and beyond.

For free advice on how we can help victim’s who have suffered an injury because of medical negligence, talk to one of our advisers today by calling 0800 092 2896. You can also get in touch via our contact page.