I recently concluded a case for a young lady who had been misdiagnosed with malignant melanoma.
My client had been told she had cancer for which she received treatment. But years later she was then told the melanoma diagnosis was incorrect and the surgeries she had undergone were unnecessary.
You may think that this woman was incredibly fortunate not to have such a devastating disease but the impact of the incorrect diagnosis both psychologically and physically were significant.
Not only did she develop an adjustment disorder and depression, but she was also left with significant scarring on her calf following her surgery. In addition, she spent years fearing she may get cancer again and she felt so paranoid about her many moles that she even opted to have them surgically removed as she was so worried about their appearance.
Furthermore, she had difficulties at work, both because she struggled to cope mentally and because of the physical impact of the surgeries.
When she found out about the melanoma misdiagnosis, due to the independent inquiry into the Histopatholgy Services for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, she felt immediately relieved.
But the relief soon turned to anger, and she found it difficult to come to terms with the fact she never had cancer and that the extensive treatment she had undergone had been unnecessary.
My client has now put the unfortunate events behind her and is in the process of getting back to normality. This was aided by a successful resolution of her medical negligence claim against the Trust. I hope the Histopatholgy Unit in Bristol has done the same.
Nisha Sharma is a Senior Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
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