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Incorrect XRay report....


Fay A.

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Back on June 21st of this year I had a plain chest xray done for problems I was experiencing on the right side of my chest and back. The xray was read as there being nothing wrong to cause the right side problems, and the report specifically stated that the left lung was clear.

A month later the tumor in my left lung (1.7 centimeters) was reported from a CT-PET Scan.

A review of the June 21st XRay clearly shows the tumor present.

For quite some time the Radiology Department of my local hospital has issued reports that claim nothing to be wrong when I have studies done there. This is not the first time that a report has been generated that does not detail what is actually present.

In the past I went directly to these docs and spoke with them one on one about the problems, with the hopes that they would take what I had to say to heart, and give me a more professional and complete report. The response to these previous discussions has apparently been to make all subsequent scans/reports negative for findings of any kind...even when there were findings that should be reported.

I don't want to talk about this with these folks any more. I'm just so very discouraged that this lesion should have been reported a full four weeks before it actually was.

You know, one of the very few things I've been afraid of is that if I complained-even though the complaints were legitimate-I would be labled a difficult patient and I would find myself unable to find docs who would treat me. Well, that has happened. It's a horrible feeling to think that when you see a genuine problem you cannot speak up for fear you will be left without help.

I think the time has come for me to start going very public with these problems. I tried going directly to the sources, and in such a way that the problems could be dealt with in house without causing a lot of drama. I guess I was just silly to think that others would view my intent as solution oriented and corrective in nature, not punative. I'm feeling kind of sad tonight...

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Fay, I am so angry I can't even see straight right now. I am the same way, I ask questions and want answers and I can see the annoyance in most all of the doctors I have ever come in contact with. You know what, too BAD!! I am sure my file says difficult patient too. Fay, I cannot believe that this has happened to you and that these doctors and this facility let you down. I will do ANYTHING I can to help you in this fight. I think you should go public, very very public and whatever you need me to do to help you, please do not hesitate to ask. I live across the country, I know, but I want to help you. This is outrageous and I am thoroughly disgusted! I am just furious as I know you are. Don't you give up, do not let them get you down! Let me know what I can do, please.

Karen

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Dear Fay,

This is a sad commentary on medical care, isn't it? Unfortunately I cannot say I am surprised. How anyone - medical people - can play with people's lives is unconscienable! I do wonder what avenues you can pursue. I would guess many would not touch this situation with a 10 foot pole. And that again is sad.

I have nothing like you, Fay. I just have everyone local here who dealt with me last fall ignoring me since I went elsewhere. I cannot get to see the oncologist who administered chemo. The rad oncologist blames the effects of radiaion on the surgeon I went to. The pulmonologist pretends we really don't even know each other. So there you go! All I did was continue on my quest to find someone who heard of what I had, had dealt with it before, and held out some hope...none of which was happening here. I suppose that would make me a difficult patient as well!

I offer you only support in what you choose to do. Know that many here are right behind you and beside you too.

(((Fay))),

Kasey

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Fay, this is one of the most disconcerting things I've experienced, and it appears to be the same with you. Mine though has been (thankfully) the other way mostly -- Radiologist seeing "things" that are meaningless, but reporting on them as if they are mets. One internist (filling in for my Pulmonologist on his day off) even had me so scared with an urgency to see the Oncologist because of the "multiple mets" on a scan. The only problem with his urgency was that they didn't exist. The Radiologist had reported just about everything on the film as a met.

What those incidents did to me once I got over the paranoia was to make me ask questions about everything. I always get a copy of the reports, so I go over them in detail with the Oncologist.

It just seems at times as if you're danged if you do, danged if you don't. I don't know the answers. These people are supposed to be looking out for us, yet how can we trust them all when things like this happen to us? It's a poser, for sure.

One thing I know is that you're one smart cookie, and you'll figure out a way through it. Just hang in there -- don't worry so much about what anyone thinks about you. You are in a fight for your life, and if they don't get that, it's their shortcoming -- NOT yours.

Di

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I'm so very sorry, Fay. This shouldn't have to anyone, ever, but especially to people living with cancer. It's scary enough without treatment and diagnosis errors.

You might be interested in this:

http://www.iom.edu/file.asp?id=27184

It's an Institute of Medicine report that details the prevalence of health care errors in the U.S. An estimated 100,000 people die every year in hospitals because of such errors.

As a researcher, I would be interested in opening up a discussion of the nature of the errors you, as people living with lung cancer, have encountered. If it's okay with Katie and Rick, that is. Would anyone here be interested in talking more (online) about this?

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Teresa - it might be worthwhile in that it would at least give people clues as to what to look for. I know a lot of people still think that doctors can do no wrong, and would stand on their heads all day if a doctor told them it would help!

Seriously though, if people can be honest about their experiences and what they've had to do to change things, I think it might be a worthy endeavor.

Di

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Fay, I'm so very sorry you are having to deal with this on top of everything else! It's very frustrating. Jim had several mis-reads along the way. One was an x-ray when he had another severe medical problem, 2 years before he was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, extensive. Apparently, that chest x-ray 2 years before, the radiologist suggested possible follow-up of a spot on the lung. Jim's doctor never read that report until he leafed back through all of the reports 2 years later. Bingo, now that little spot was 7 cm in the lung and had already spread to the adrenal gland. Don't know if this would have made a difference because Jim's health was compromised at that time.

A month before Jim died, he had his usual CT at the same place he had all of them. The radiologist didn't put anything on the report except the activity in his chest. Nothing about the adrenal, liver, etc., as had been in previous reports. Jim's oncologist looked at the pictures and got the addendum added to the report - adrenal tumor had TRIPLED in size. Jim's oncologist was always very good about looking at the pictures himself and offering corrections. Sad. If Jim were still here, he would want me to add that his dad is a retired radiologist and was a very fine one with an excellent reputation! So, they do exist!

Wow, have never gotten that one off of my chest. Fay, keep pursuing it. It's your life!

Lynne

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Lynne, you are absolutely correct - there are good -- REALLY good Radiologists out there. "Way back when" I first started working in hospitals, my first job was as a transcriptionist in Radiology. We had some of the finest people - and doctors - I ever knew, and I learned a lot from them and the technicians I worked with in the 5 years I spent in that job.

They would often have the patient's doctors come by to look over the films with them, make a phone call to discuss things as they were looking at the films, etc. They were right there, accessible to all patients, no matter what they were having done.

I had a similarly good experience with the Radiologist (Interventional Radiologist) who did my liver biopsy a few months ago. He was really wonderful - patient, kind, had a great touch, was good to explain everything, etc. It was very obvious that the people working with him thought very highly of him. Unfortunately, he's retiring at the end of this year.

Is it just older ones who were trained differently? I honestly don't know. It's probably just that we are all humans, and tend to expect perfection from doctors when it comes to our health and our survival.

Di

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Sadly enough, this happens more often then the Medical Professionals would honestly admit! :x

I'm very Greatful to my Pulm. Doc, because he goes over every chest X-RAY and CT Scan or PET Scans I have ever had! Not just the reports, but the FILM! GOD LOVE 'EM, cause I SURE DO!!

Fay, it's time to MAKE NOISE! It's time to hold SOMEONE ACCOUNTABLE for NOT DOING THERE JOBS! I know, it's easy for me to say, but try calling or emailing your NEWS Stations, or even email the World News Stations. Call your Newspaper and tell them, "Have I got a Story for YOU!"

I'm so sorry this happened to you. It breaks my heart and makes me MAD!

Love & Hugs,

Connie

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Make's me very angry also but one who grew up very poor and quickly noticed the way poor were treated by hospital's and Doctor's versus those with Insurance or prestige are we at all surprised that Lung Cancer patient's by some medical people are discriminated against when you consider that so many think this is a self caused desease so what did we expect to happen attitude...

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Fay: I certainly hope these guys are not purposely misreading your xrays. I hope it is just simple incompetence.

I like the idea of reporting it to a consumer complaint thing like Kaffie was talking about.. get it on a tv news segment.

For myself, I have confidence in at least one my local radiologists. I learned the name of the best one there. He was able to pick out a possible nodule on an xray when it was only a few milimeters in size. A ct scan 3 months later identified a possible nodule when it was 0.9mm. My oncologist does not look at the films with me. My pulmonologist does. I think he is very good at it too. Did you get the ct scan done somewhere else? Maybe you should forget about the local hospital. I guess it would make me angry and I would do something about it.

I am sorry you are feeling sad.

Don M

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Dear Fay,

You need to find a social jusctice lawyer who will be your advocate.

You can talk to a lawyer on the phone for an hour for free, find one who can help you fight.

Write letter to bothe drs and administrators of the hospital, keep copies!!!DO NOT TALK TO PATIENT REPRESENTATIVES they are a legal course for the hospital to get personal access to info on you.

Then follow with media outrage.

keep at it

good luck

joyce

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