When a patient undergoes medical tests it is natural to assume, and trust, that the results will be correct. This is particularly pertinent when the tests being carried out, such as cervical screening, are to detect the early signs of serious illnesses such as cancer.
Unfortunately, as recent investigations into the work of pathologist Dr Bertrand Denarie have reminded us, it is sadly not necessarily an assumption we can always make.
Currently under investigation by a number of NHS Trusts and the General Medical Council, it is believed that Dr Denarie made a significant number of errors in his reporting of cervical biopsies. The Dr has worked in a number of hospitals in Bristol, Gateshead and Greater Manchester.
More than 100 cases are involved in the investigation which is in its early stages with two identified to date where the doctor’s mistakes have led the patients to suffer a late diagnosis of cancer. The biopsies were taken after suspicious or abnormal findings were revealed following the patients’ cervical screening tests and should have confirmed whether the abnormalities were in fact pre-cancerous changes to the patients’ cervix or indeed, cervical cancer.
There is a very good reason that women are encouraged to have regular cervical screening tests. For those aged between 25 – 49, a test should take place every three years. From the age of 50 – 64 it’s every five years and after the age of 65, only women who haven’t been tested since the age of 50 or have previously had abnormal test results, need to have a smear test or cervical screening test as it is now known.
It is often possible to identify pre-cancerous changes in the cervix and have the affected tissue surgically removed without the patient ever developing cancer. Even if the woman is unlucky enough to develop cervical cancer, the earlier the cancer is caught the better chance of survival.
We recently acted for a client who was unfortunate enough for pre-cancerous changes to be missed on her smear test and therefore she was not offered the procedure to remove the affected tissue.
She sadly went on to develop cervical cancer and while thankfully she has survived and is now in remission, she underwent years of treatment and has been left with the life changing after effects of the treatment including chronic fatigue, permanent damage to her bowel and bladder function and premature menopause. We secured a significant six figure sum in order to allow her to obtain the help she needed day to day.
While investigations into Dr Denarie’s practices continue, we hope that no more women will have suffered as a result of his errors.
If you have or have had cervical cancer and believe that your diagnosis may have been delayed you may have a claim for compensation.
Linder Myers Solicitors has one of the largest and most experienced team of specialist clinical and medical negligence lawyers in England and Wales. Our team of specialists are readily available to listen to and discuss incidents of negligence involving delayed cancer diagnosis.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured due to medical negligence please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team on 0800 085 3295.
Alternatively, please email a summary of your potential claim and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
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