Hospital error results in woman wrongly told she had cancer

By Gillian Crotty

A 71-year-old woman has spoken of her distress at wrongly being told that she had cancer and Alzheimer's after a hospital error meant that the nurse was actually reading the notes of her dead husband.

Cathy Patient went to Frimley Park Hospital for a CT scan because of blood clots and heart problems, but before the scan took place the nurse mistakenly told her she suffered from other conditions. The nurse first told Mrs Patient that she had been at the hospital before for a scan, which she denied, only for the nurse to repeat that she had. The nurse went away and came back, only to tell Mrs Patient she had Alzheimer's and cancer, which she again denied, and the nurse again repeated to her as fact. It was only when the nurse went away again that it was noticed that Mrs Patient's medical records had been mixed up with those of her husband who had died 18 months previously.

Mrs Patient describes how she then became upset at the memory of losing her husband. She has said that the hospital error "could be devastating" if it happened to someone else who was going in for a serious operation, and the hospital has said it is investigating how the medical notes of the two patients were mixed up in their electronic radiology record.

If you have suffered injury or loss as a result of a hospital error, including misdiagnosis, a delay in treatment, or other medical negligence, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Northern Ireland to discuss your options for clinical negligence compensation by calling 0800 840 9289.