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Cancer patient warns others to get a second opinion video Judith Holswich

#1 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 02:20 PM

Click on the link to read the comments.

May others learn from this case to try not take up the habit of smoking in the first place no matter what the pressure or desire to do so is.

Those that do smoke, please also consider the harm second hand smoke does to others as they to may well develop cancer including throat cancer.

Cancer patient warns others to get a second opinion video


Last updated 09:44, April 20 2015

Terminal Cancer Patient Judith Holswich warns others to get second opinion

Taranaki cancer patient Judith Holswich had to wait so long for doctors to diagnose her lung cancer that she now only has months left to live.

Holswich is now warning patients to keep pushing for a second opinion if they are concerned about their results.

She has been awarded more than $100,000 in compensation so far after an ACC investigation found a failure to follow-up on an abnormal scan meant her lung cancer diagnosis was delayed by three years.

Waitara resident Judith Holswich has received compensation for a delayed cancer diagnoses.
Charlotte Curd/Fairfax NZ

Waitara resident Judith Holswich has received compensation for a delayed cancer diagnoses.

"Now it's too late for me to get anything done about it," the 55-year-old said.

"They've told me I've just got a matter of a few short months.

"I feel a bit robbed."

Holswich's problems began at Taranaki Base Hospital in 2010 when her CT scan showed an abnormality on her right lung.

"The doctor back them said they'd found a shadow on my lung, but it was nothing to worry about. He said most ex-smokers always suffered from that sort of thing," she said.

However, ACC says a six-month follow-up scan should have been ordered.

If the cancer had been discovered earlier it would have "significantly increased her chance of being cured of cancer," an ACC clinical advisor wrote.

It wasn't until Holswich's doctor sent her back to the hospital in 2013 that the cancer was discovered.

"They found the shadow had actually turned into a tumour on my right lung. Then they found the tumour had spread into my lymph glands in my chest. I've also got some in my neck now," she said.

Holswich, who also has heart problems and diabetes, is having chemotherapy and has had radiation.

The radiation delayed the progression of the cancer, but about five months ago doctor's found the cancer was progressing again.

Holswich said she wanted people to know that if they felt something was wrong with them they could get a second opinion.

"Theres been so many people who haven't been diagnosed properly," she said.

"You can keep pushing if you think there is something wrong with you. Don't just take the doctor's opinion.

"I don't want this to happen to anyone in my family or anyone else's family."

Holswich said she would be using her ACC payment to plan a holiday with her husband and to pay for her funeral.

"All the money in the world won't help bring your life back, but it will help your family when you are gone," she said.

"It's going to help me put my mind at rest that my family is going to be OK."

The Taranaki District Health Board told TVNZ it could not discuss the complaint because an inquiry by the Health and Disability Commissioner was under way.

It acknowledged Holswich's serious health concerns and said it was a "very difficult time" for her family.

- Stuff


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Posted 21 August 2015 - 05:46 PM

Huge payouts for people whose health worsened after bungled diagnoses


Last updated 09:24, August 10 2015

Taranaki woman Judith Holswich is dying of lung cancer after a radiologist failed to act on an abnormal scan, which delayed her diagnosis for three years.

Nearly 1000 people have received ACC payouts for bungled radiology diagnoses in the past 10 years, including some who became terminally ill as a result.

Figures released under the Official Information Act show ACC paid $9.3 million for 969 claims from July 1, 2005, to December 31, 2014. They also show annual claims have more than doubled since 2006, and payouts have nearly quadrupled.

The cases include Taranaki woman Judith Holswich, who is now dying of lung cancer after a radiologist failed to follow up on an abnormal scan, which delayed her diagnosis for three years.

On Thursday, she returned to her Waitara home after eight days at Hospice Taranaki, her second stay there in the past three weeks.

"When it does eventually happen, I want to die in my own home," the 55-year-old said.

"If they [radiologists] had done their job correctly, I wouldn't be in this situation."

Holswich was awarded more than $100,000 from ACC in April, but others are still fighting.

An Auckland woman's seven-year legal battle for compensation is yet to be resolved after her daughter was born was spina bifida in 2007.
Doctors had missed signs of the birth defect during a 20-week antenatal scan.

The woman told the Court of Appeal in 2013 that she would have sought to terminate her pregnancy if the condition had been diagnosed at the scan.

Mammography was singled out as the most fraught procedure during the past decade, with 125 ACC claims for various injuries, including bruising, joint injuries, plus strains and sprains. CT scans were the second highest source of claims.

In the 10-year period, ACC accepted claims from 32 people for "treatment omission", which included a delay or failure to treat someone, such as when a radiologist failed to diagnose a condition that showed up on imaging.

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists' New Zealand branch chairman Lance Lawler
said such cases were "a doctor's worst nightmare", but mistakes were unavoidable because of human error.

"I don't think you will ever stop these events happening ... Good people make honest mistakes sometimes."

However, he said more sophisticated auditing and peer review requirements were being introduced across the medical profession, including radiology, to try to reduce the chance of mistakes.

Lawler, a Wellington-based radiologist, estimated about 3 million radiology scans were done in New Zealand annually, suggesting about 30 million over the decade.

"That means 30 [treatment omission] cases out of 30 million. But we don't want any mistakes, and we don't want anyone to suffer."

Of the $9.3m paid out by ACC, $5.9m was paid for compensation, and the rest was for treatment and rehabilitation. Last year, $1.2m was paid in compensation.

People suffering permanent injuries from treatment, including radiology scans, can claim lump-sum compensation of up to $133,000, depending on their level of impairment.

An ACC spokeswoman said the largest payouts went to those who had suffered more than 80 per cent impairment, including those who were terminally ill.

Capital & Coast District Health Board had 58 radiology treatment injury claims in the past decade, including 12 last year, and had the third highest claim rate after Auckland and Canterbury districts.


Judith Holswich dons oxygen constantly to help her breathe, but life is becoming an increasing struggle.

The 55-year-old from Waitara is dying of lung cancer, which was left to progress unchecked for three years after a radiologist failed to act on her abnormal CT scan.

The ex-smoker, who quit about 15 years ago, was working as a mental health support worker when she noticed in 2010 that she was short of breath when walking up people's drives for home visits.

She visited her GP, who sent her for a CT scan. The results showed a shadow on her right lung, but the radiologist said that was common for ex-smokers and was nothing to worry about.

"I have never had cancer before, so I took his word for it," she said.

It's a decision she now regrets, and wishes she had sought a second opinion.

With her breathing becoming so laboured that she had to give up work, along with plans to sit her mental health certificate.

She went back to her GP in 2013 and was sent for a repeat CT scan, which diagnosed lung cancer.

In the intervening three years, it had spread into lymph glands in her chest and neck, and was terminal.

"Back in 2010, I could have had the tumour removed from my lung. Now it's too late."

While trying to stay positive for the sake of husband David and the eight children they share between them, Holswich said she was angry that the radiologist's failures would rob her of life.

"People ask me how I feel. I don't know how I feel. Really annoyed, more than anything.

"If they had done their job right, I wouldn't be here now."

Fulford Radiology Services,
which was contracted to do radiology tests for Taranaki District Health Board, has begun an audit of all the work by the radiologist who missed Holswich's cancer, covering a period from 2008-12.

Fulford board chairwoman Flora Gilkison said the radiologist, who died in 2012, had an excellent reputation and his early intervention work saved many Taranaki people's arms and legs from amputation.

"Every clinician has mistakes."

She was "desperately sorry" for the impact of the error on Holswich. "It's a tragedy for her."

- Stuff

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