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Posted: 2/8/2006 11:34:52 PM EDT




www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2031688,00.html

Girl is given radiation overdose 17 times after hospital blunder

By Shirley English

Human error is blamed for the mistake that could cost 15-year-old her life

A TEENAGER has been told that she could be dead within five years after being given massive overdoses of radiation 17 times during treatment for a brain tumour.

Doctors have told Lisa Norris, 15, that her future is bleak after cancer treatment that was meant to save her life went tragically wrong.

At best she could be brain damaged or paralysed and confined to a wheelchair for life. At worst she could die.

Two top-level inquiries are under way into the blunder at the Beatson Oncology Centre, Glasgow, Britain’s second largest specialist cancer centre, which treats 8,000 new patients a year.

A rare pinealblastoma tumour was diagnosed in the centre of Lisa's brain five months ago. She was initially treated with chemotherapy, but that failed to stop the tumour growing.

On January 5 she started a course of radiotherapy at the Beatson, in the Western Infirmary, and last week, after 17 doses of radiation, she and her family celebrated when they were told that the tumour had gone.

Soon afterwards, however, her parents were contacted by the hospital. Two consultants visited them at their home in Girvan, Ayrshire, where they broke the news that Lisa had been given a huge overdose, which could eventually kill her.

The hospital said that initial investigations suggested that the mistake was due to human error, involving three physicists and two hospital administrators, rather than mechanical or equipment failure. In a statement the hospital confirmed that “no other patient treatments were compromised”.

Lisa has now developed blisters on the back of the neck, head and ears and her skin has turned red. She has difficulty sleeping because of burns on her back and heat inside her body. She says she has to take cold showers to cool down.

On being told about the mistake, she said, she asked the consultants what it meant. “I asked them if I was going to die, but they ignored me. When I asked a second time if I would be here in five years, they said they could not answer. I want to know if the worst is going to happen, so I can prepare.”

Sitting on a settee with her tearful mother, she added: “I don’t know what is going to happen to me. It could happen in 6 months to a year, it could happen in 10 to 15 years or it could happen when I’m 60.”

She has been told by doctors that she might have a scar on her brain that could lead to strokes or heart attacks. “I could be brain damaged. I could be paralysed.”

NHS Greater Glasgow has not yet disclosed to Lisa, her parents Kenneth, 50, and Elizabeth, 49, and her brother Andrew, 12, how large an overdose she was subjected to.

Because errors such as this are rare, doctors are unable at this stage to predict the extent of the damage, and have said that it could be up to three months before they are able to give a more precise diagnosis.

Lisa’s mother said: “I want every single member of staff who has contributed to this to be given the push. They have messed up my girl’s future and made her fear for every day of her life.”
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:40:07 PM EDT
How could you fuck something like this up? Well i hope she gets to see all the millions of dollars her family will get.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:42:55 PM EDT
bummer
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:50:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HarrySacz:
How could you fuck something like this up? Well i hope she gets to see all the millions of dollars her family will get.




Hurray for socialized medicine... God help her.



- BG
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:55:12 PM EDT
This sucks, but could also prove interesting for medicine.

I hope the young girl does well. After touring a Radio-oncology unit I can't see how this possibly could have happened.

Socialized medicine perhaps?

btw- FEAR HILLARY when it comes to this kind of shit.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:56:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:59:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 12:06:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

And you don't get fuck-ups in private hospitals....

Difference is, private hospitals settle out of court with a non-disclosure clause and you don't get to hear about it in the papers.


ANdy



Where do you want your procedure done?

I've heard of people waiting for MRI or CAT in the UK (days or weeks)

People I know in Canada have to wait to see a specialist for months.

Fuck that. I will pay the insurance.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 12:09:33 AM EDT
Prayer sent.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 12:48:20 AM EDT
Very Sad.

The CRS she's currently experiencing is evidence of over exposure. Radiation therapy is very localized, and nerve cells are the least radio-sensitive cells in the body; depending on the dose, she may have a chance.

Link Posted: 2/9/2006 1:08:23 AM EDT
Horror.

See how great medical care is guaranteed if you have strict limits on "frivolous" lawsuits?

Link Posted: 2/9/2006 1:18:09 AM EDT

I've heard of people waiting for MRI or CAT in the UK (days or weeks)

That's a bogus complaint. Yes my wife got an MRI done the same day her neurologist asked for it after she had a stroke, but it was ridiculously expensive and they weren't able to provide the results to the doctor until over 4 weeks later. The results were needed the same day so they could decide how to proceed to treat her stroke (to see if it was caused by bleeding or by a clot). Instead, the neurologist wasn't able to do anything until it was too late. When my nephew broke his heel when his ladder collapsed and after my great-nephew broke damaged his knee in an auto accident, they were both able to get MRI's done quickly, but the results came much too late for the information to be used before their surgeries. I'd rather just not have the MRI so you don't go through the trouble and expense rather than do it and have it be worthless.z
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 1:21:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By BUCC_Guy:

Originally Posted By HarrySacz:
How could you fuck something like this up? Well i hope she gets to see all the millions of dollars her family will get.




Hurray for socialized medicine... God help her.



- BG




And you don't get fuck-ups in private hospitals....

Difference is, private hospitals settle out of court with a non-disclosure clause and you don't get to hear about it in the papers.


ANdy



Private hospitals don't cut as many corners.

I do recall reading about the budget slashing of paper towels for nurses while I was in London. Those damn nurses were washing their hands too damn much! Costing the U.K.ers way too much in paper products.

And... uhhh... wasn't that the same time yall were dealing with the deadly infectious bacteria throughout many hospitals?

Hmmmm!?

(all in good fun and for conversation. I had a lovely time in England. 2 Weeks in London, 5 weeks in Bath. Summer of '04)


- BG
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 2:43:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 2:52:14 AM EDT
NHS negligence caused my mother to lose her hearing in her left ear
Her right ear isn't so good too.
I also suspect that the bouts of headaches and nausea that she goes through every so often is also related to the same mistake.

FU*K the NHS
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 2:59:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2006 2:59:45 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 3:30:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By otto-nyc:

Socialized medicine perhaps?

btw- FEAR HILLARY when it comes to this kind of shit.



Socialized medicine: The efficiency of the DMV, the compassion of the IRS.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 4:57:29 AM EDT
Something is strange with that story, I would think that the damage would be more immediate, although i can understand the cumulative long term effects. Its sad that this happened, but I really dont see how given the current state of technology...

But it may be due to their medical system over there. I would think some one had to have by- passed a safety threshold in order to do this. And what did the hospital administrators have to do to be involved?

Its awful that something that should have saved the child will inevitably be the thing that kills her.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 5:32:19 AM EDT
That's a horrible story.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 5:42:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:23:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By chrism101:
Something is strange with that story, I would think that the damage would be more immediate, although i can understand the cumulative long term effects. Its sad that this happened, but I really dont see how given the current state of technology...



If the radiation exposure was not so localized, the damage would have been more immediate. There was no exposure to the blood forming organs, or gastro-intestinal tract, so the biological damage and symptoms will not be as evident. It sounds as though the physicist calculated / prescribed the wrong dose, and some mindless technician repeatedly administered the wrong treatment. A questioning attitude by the technician probably could have saved this young woman.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:25:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By BUCC_Guy:

Originally Posted By HarrySacz:
How could you fuck something like this up? Well i hope she gets to see all the millions of dollars her family will get.




Hurray for socialized medicine... God help her.



- BG




And you don't get fuck-ups in private hospitals....

Difference is, private hospitals settle out of court with a non-disclosure clause and you don't get to hear about it in the papers.


ANdy



so is the socialized system better?
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:28:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HarrySacz:
How could you fuck something like this up?



If it involves human, there will be someone to mess it up.

Slightly, but not completely, offtopic: The person who graduates at the top of class in medical school is called the valedictorian. What is the person who graduates last called?



Doctor.

Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:38:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2006 11:56:57 AM EDT by chrism101]

Originally Posted By Rabbit9:

Originally Posted By chrism101:
Something is strange with that story, I would think that the damage would be more immediate, although i can understand the cumulative long term effects. Its sad that this happened, but I really dont see how given the current state of technology...



If the radiation exposure was not so localized, the damage would have been more immediate. There was no exposure to the blood forming organs, or gastro-intestinal tract, so the biological damage and symptoms will not be as evident. It sounds as though the physicist calculated / prescribed the wrong dose, and some mindless technician repeatedly administered the wrong treatment. A questioning attitude by the technician probably could have saved this young woman.



I fully agree with all of the above, but i would think the reddening, blistering, and heating would be more immediate effects. whoever did the therapy planning is to blame, but as far as the other effects i would think that though very possible that they too would be more evident already at this point. It makes me wonder if the appropriate imaging was obtained during therapy to verify, or if they just checked after the therapy rounds had completed and thought whoa we F'd up.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:19:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By HarrySacz:
How could you fuck something like this up? Well i hope she gets to see all the millions of dollars her family will get.



They won't get 'millions of dollars'....

The Statutory amount of compensation awarded for death by Medical Negligence is £10,000 (@ $18,500).

If you sue in the courts you may get up to £50,000, (@ $90,000), but you will spend around 5 years fighting for it.

ANdy




Now do you idiots spouting off about "health care malpractice lawsuit reform" see what it'll get you?

This girl, and her family are FUCKED, and the doctors will get off paying next to nothing.

We'll be in the same boat in no time if the doctors and the insurance companies have their way.

Bullshit.

Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:44:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:53:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
Yep, hospitals don't make mistakes in the US do they?



Medical News Summary: Hospital sued for undiagnosed heart condition

About: Hospital sued for undiagnosed heart condition
Date: 6 October 2005
Source: My San Antonio
Author: Guillermo Contreras
Medical News Summary (summary of medical news story as reported by My San Antonio): A woman’s family was granted $5 million by a lawsuit against a hospital that failed to diagnose their daughters inherited heart condition, which resulted in her having a heart attack and suffering irreversible brain damage.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA100605.02B.methodist_settle.17a5167c.html






Missing a diagnosis is completely different from negligent mis-treatment. I don't think you can hold someone liable for something that they failed to spot (given, of course, medical perspective on whether or not he missed obvious signs, which the article lacks).
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:54:55 AM EDT
So humans screw up?

Tell me something new.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:55:59 AM EDT
There's company in California that has a drug therapy for radiation sickness. Just saw a report on it a few days ago. Considering the alternative... it would need to be started soon, and the clock is ticking.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:56:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mmx1:

Originally Posted By vito113:
Yep, hospitals don't make mistakes in the US do they?



Medical News Summary: Hospital sued for undiagnosed heart condition

About: Hospital sued for undiagnosed heart condition
Date: 6 October 2005
Source: My San Antonio
Author: Guillermo Contreras
Medical News Summary (summary of medical news story as reported by My San Antonio): A woman’s family was granted $5 million by a lawsuit against a hospital that failed to diagnose their daughters inherited heart condition, which resulted in her having a heart attack and suffering irreversible brain damage.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA100605.02B.methodist_settle.17a5167c.html






Missing a diagnosis is completely different from negligent mis-treatment. I don't think you can hold someone liable for something that they failed to spot (given, of course, medical perspective on whether or not he missed obvious signs, which the article lacks).



BINGO!

It can be hard to diagnose a lot of things.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:11:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:12:49 AM EDT
There are mistakes in ANY medicine practice.

Doctors and nurses are human
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:21:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By CRC:

Originally Posted By mmx1:

Originally Posted By vito113:
Yep, hospitals don't make mistakes in the US do they?



Medical News Summary: Hospital sued for undiagnosed heart condition

About: Hospital sued for undiagnosed heart condition
Date: 6 October 2005
Source: My San Antonio
Author: Guillermo Contreras
Medical News Summary (summary of medical news story as reported by My San Antonio): A woman’s family was granted $5 million by a lawsuit against a hospital that failed to diagnose their daughters inherited heart condition, which resulted in her having a heart attack and suffering irreversible brain damage.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA100605.02B.methodist_settle.17a5167c.html






Missing a diagnosis is completely different from negligent mis-treatment. I don't think you can hold someone liable for something that they failed to spot (given, of course, medical perspective on whether or not he missed obvious signs, which the article lacks).



BINGO!

It can be hard to diagnose a lot of things.



It can be hard to diagnose a lot of things, but the way some posters here go on you would think you NEVER see ANY mistakes in Private medicine....


ANdy



Maybe I'm just abnormal, but I see mistake of omission as something different from mistake of improper treatment. People go around with the impression that a doctor will automagikally see their problems and fix them, and that if you go do a doctor and then get sick it's automatically the doctor's fault for missing it.

Blame it all on scientific illiteracy. At a certain level, all science resembles magic.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:21:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:51:43 AM EDT
People make mistakes.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:55:07 AM EDT
that's sad.


Link Posted: 2/9/2006 2:17:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Jetlag:
People make mistakes.



17 times apparently.
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