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Over 1,000 Patients May Have Been Misdiagnosed as Having Heart Problems by Technician Who Misread Test Results

Feb 4, 2006 | Newsinferno News Staff
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Last week, newsinferno.com reported on the story of numerous mammograms having been mistakenly read as being cancer-free by the same radiologist working at North Manchester General Hospital in Crumpsall and Tafford General in the UK.

To date, at least 28 woman were wrongly advised their scans were negative when, if fact, they actually revealed the presence of breast cancer in its early and more treatable stages.

At least 17 of those women are now suffering from advanced stages of the disease and are at serious risk of dying as a result of the misdiagnoses. The investigation into the matter only promises to uncover more examples of malpractice by this radiologist.

Now, less than a week later, comes another startling report of misread tests at the same trust. This time, hospital officials admit more than 1,000 patients may have been wrongly diagnosed with heart problems by a cardiac technician at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, Greater Manchester, when, in truth, the readings were actually normal.

Some 1,053 patients have been notified by the hospital that their records must be re-examined due to errors that were found in evaluating echocardiogram tests.

Dr. Ruth Jameson, acting medical director of Pennine Acute Trust, which runs the hospital, said: "This technician, who was supplied by an agency, is no longer doing any work for the Trust."

According to Dr. Jameson, not all patients who had undergone ultrasound heart scans were affected. Only those who had seen this specific unnamed technician between May 23 and December 7 are at risk of having inaccurate echocardiograms.

Dr Jameson said: "We are hopeful that the particular echocardiograms will not have had a major adverse effect on patients but the only way we can assure our patients that they are having the appropriate care is to carry out this review."

The review is expected to take several weeks and hospital officials have not yet determined whether any patients were given the wrong medication as a result of the cardiac technician’s errors.
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