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Case Study: Doctor Throws Skin Specimens Away
JMW secured £3,500 compensation for a woman who was left with permanent scarring after doctors wrongfully discarded skin samples, preventing a histology report and providing inconclusive results.
Gloria was a very anxious person and in the past had received a course of cognitive behavioural therapy because of a morbid preoccupation with contracting a fatal disease.She noticed a couple of small skin tags (papilloma) on her leg and consulted her GP as she was worried they might be cancerous.
The doctor removed the skin tags but failed to send the tissue to histology for examination. It is not explained why he discarded the pieces of tissue but it was probably because he was so certain they were insignificant. However, this was a poor decision in the light of Gloria’s anxiety about developing cancer.Gloria was very upset when she realised there was no histology report so her GP sent her to see a dermatologist for a second opinion. He noted that there was “nothing to see” when examining her leg but offered to take skin from a wider section of the area that had contained the tags in order to obtain some tissue to send to the laboratory.
Unfortunately, the site of the skin removal became infected and has left a noticeable scar, which Gloria is very self-conscious of. If the initial tissue had been sent to the laboratory, as it should have been, Gloria would have avoided the second operation and the resulting scar. The histology report was negative.
After negotiation, the case was settled by Katie Nolan, one of JMW’s expert solicitors in the medical negligence team, for £3,500.
If you would like to find out more about the topics discussed above, give us a call to discuss the situation and to see whether you could be entitled to compensation. Ring us today on 0800 054 6512, or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our friendly team will get in touch with you.