Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Man died after medics missed disease six times, inquest hears

A young father died in agony on Christmas Day after medics repeatedly mistook a fatal bowel infection for a groin strain, an inquest has heard.

Malcolm Drake, 23, died from Crohn's Disease and spent his final hours unable to move or eat. He had sought help six times in the days before he died, but GPs and two Accident and Emergency doctors had missed his condition. He was even refused an MRI scan three days before he died that would have shown up the condition, the hearing was told...

Mr Drake had first complained of abdominal pain in mid-November before the first of six visits to medics and physiotherapists in the 15 days before he died, during which time his right leg had swollen considerably and he was in such pain he couldn’t eat.

He saw a GP on December 10th, went to A&E on the 13th, another GP on the 17th and finally A&E again on the 22nd. In between, he had two bouts of physiotherapy.

The hearing was told that Dr Richard Aw, a junior doctor who saw him at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire’s Accident and Emergency department on December 22nd, did not refer to his previous recent visits which were on his medical records, nor make a written record of them when Mr Drake explained who he had seen.

Dr Aw had been employed as a GP locum and had only one year’s experience. He diagnosed Mr Drake as suffering from a groin strain “consistent with previous findings” and sent him home with a dose of painkillers. Dr Aw also claimed that despite ambulance staff apparently noting a 'palpable mass' in Mr Drake's right thigh on the way to A&E, he did not find any lump in the leg himself.

It emerged that Dr Aw had advised him against having an MRI. Giving evidence, he admitted that an MRI would have shown up the Crohn’s disease. Simon Fox, representing Miss Lindop and Mr Drake's family, told Dr Aw: "Had Mr Drake had the scan, it would've led to the diagnosis - Mr Drake had it exactly right didn't he?"

Dr Aw replied: "Yes."

The hearing continues.
Source: The Telegraph

2 comments:

Dr Rohen Kapur said...

It probably didn't fit the policy at the time

Demetrius said...

Trying to get treatment nowadays is becoming increasingly difficult. BTW on health and doctors see http://stinkingplanet.blogspot.com/2010/04/queuing-theory.html