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Is this negligence?

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2

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  • JamoLew
    JamoLew Posts: 1,800 Forumite
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    edited 22 November 2020 at 9:32AM
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    Scan availability for cancer diagnosis and staging generally isn't a problem at all - especially with all the target dates that we have to work towards nowadays (at least at our place)
    Routine scans - yes, those will have a long waiting list

    Although private care is available for cancer treatment - I generally wouldn't advise anyone to use their own money to pay for it as the treatment you get won't be any different.
    Yes you might get to see the Consultant rather than a Reg - but unless you are attending a purpose built private centre you will get no different or faster treatment than an NHS patient will - you are probably only contributing to the Consultants new car fund

    Although - the NHS does depend on the income from private patients for funding

    Many insurance companies are actually offering patients money to NOT go private and claim on their policy's they know this

    For the OP - unless we/you know the EXACT reason for the blood test - it is impossible to determine if there is any possible suggestion of negligence

    As suggested - if you have any concerns, raise them with the unit manager in a clear,calm manner. Going in all guns blazing with accusations is not the best way
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,918 Forumite
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    edited 22 November 2020 at 11:47AM
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    JamoLew said:
    A blood test is not always required before a CT scan, although as already mentioned it may be used to asses kidney function.
    As it was private, there is a good chance they were just doing one anyway as it would be a chargeable item - plus it never hurts to have up to date blood results as well
    For info as well - it wasn't a nurse that did the CT scan
    To answer your question - the risk is absolutely minimal that you would have a serious reaction to the contrast - it happens, but not often
    No its not negligence
    I disagree.

    Even if the risk is "minimal" it is accepted good practice to have a blood test prior to contrast enhanced scans to ensure that the patient's kidney function is good enough to safely process the contrast fluid out of the system. At the very least the increased risk should have been clearly explained to the patient so that they could have made an informed decision whether to proceed.

    I know less about the type of "contrast" used for a CT scan but there are increasing concerns about the highly toxic heavy metal "contrast" (Gadolinium) used for many MRI scans. Whilst it considerably increases the readability of the scan it is not always necessary so there are obviously grey areas in-between where there are valid benefits / risk considerations both ways.

    Clearly in the OP case the blood test should have been done first and in my opinion it was highly negligent of the radiographer not to have checked. It is not the patient's responsibility beyond answering any questions truthfully.

  • ToxicWomble
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    There is no requirement that a patient MUST have a blood test prior to a CT scan.
    In MAY be indicated in certain circumstances- usually identified by prior medical history, investigations and pre-scan questions.

    see: https://www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk/your-care/diagnosis/ct-scans

    unless the EXACT reason for the blood test was given then we are all guessing and any “negligence” cannot possibly be determined
  • unforeseen
    unforeseen Posts: 7,303 Forumite
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    I had a CT scan on my kidneys using dye as part of my bladder cancer treatment to check function and state of the ureters.
    There was no mention of needing a blood test beforehand. 
  • Manxman_in_exile
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    Aranyani said:

    Funnily enough, my wife had to have surgery in August that she'd been waiting a couple of years for.  I can't remember the precise details but she was waiting in some sort of pre-op setting along with two other female patients who were expecting to be operated on that morning.  But they weren't operated on that day because it turned out the NHS hospital had forgotten to give them pregnancy tests.  (Apparently that is a must do for pre-menopausal women who are due to be operated on).

    That can’t be right, a pregnancy test takes about 30 seconds, they could have just done it when they realised.

    As I wasn't there I can only go by what my wife told me.  She's a solicitor and not prone to exaggeration.
  • Manxman_in_exile
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    I don't see the OP has done anything wrong here.

    As regards the rather self-righteous "I am surprised that you aren't using the NHS but it's your choice", I was a NHS manager for 25 years and I'm not at all surprised (especially at the moment) that people are using the private sector for scans and other investigative procedures.  I got referred to a cardiologist privately when I was still working in the NHS.  It saved me over four months of additional worry and stress.  I'm also currently waiting for an ultrasound scan for a possible hernia, and I'll certainly be exploring getting it done privately if I've heard nothing from the NHS by the end of this month.

    Funnily enough, my wife had to have surgery in August that she'd been waiting a couple of years for.  I can't remember the precise details but she was waiting in some sort of pre-op setting along with two other female patients who were expecting to be operated on that morning.  But they weren't operated on that day because it turned out the NHS hospital had forgotten to give them pregnancy tests.  (Apparently that is a must do for pre-menopausal women who are due to be operated on).

    I wasn't being self-righteous at all. I was genuinely surprised. If people can afford to go private then yes it is their choice.
     We couldn't have got the necessary scans quicker or the subsequent treatment.
    Mistakes are made in both NHS and private settings. 


    Then I apologise.  It's just that I thought your comment that "I am surprised that you're not using the NHS" wasn't exactly value free.  Many private procedures and consultations are not that costly and for many people it makes perfect sense.

  • ToxicWomble
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    Sounds a bit “odd”

    As part of our consent forms and pre examination questions we ask “is there any chance you could be pregnant”

    As far as I know, if the answer is anything but no then we ask the patient to get confirmation.
    Havent heard about the test being done at time of appointment 
  • Dymphna60
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     But it doesn’t really matter if a blood test MUST be done before having contrast for the scan . In the OP s case it was considered necessary . This was not communicated adequately to him / her or they would have told the radiographer that they hadn’t been able to have the blood test due to the long wait time . 
    Regardless of harm being done to the OP  either the radiographer on the day made a mistake, which happens because humans do make mistakes , or the system is not adequate to stop these mistakes happening. 
    In either case it is perfectly reasonable for the OP to ask to have it looked into . Firstly to see if any follow up is required for them to check that no harm has been done  to them , and secondly for the sake of others . 
    If it is a system failure it will only be a matter of time until harm is done to someone and a timely letter from the OP could prevent that . 
  • ToxicWomble
    ToxicWomble Posts: 882 Forumite
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    edited 22 November 2020 at 2:58PM
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    We don’t know it was necessary.

    Just that it was said “we will send you for bloods before the scan” (I bet I could have an exceedingly accurate guess as to exactly what was said)

    It wasn’t said “we will send you for bloods and we can’t do the scan unless it’s done first”

    All we know is that bloods were requested as was a scan - not that any particular order is mandated

    Its a field and system I know very very well so I do actually have first hand knowledge of these things.

    I can more or less guarantee that the OPs recollection of conversations and instructions is not full and accurate - patients rarely recall discussions fully and accurately 

    Lots of decisions are made about patients and their care without them being involved.
    Maybe it was recommended but due to delays the Radiographer discussed with a clinician and was given the go ahead but with extra checks/precautions put in place
  • Manxman_in_exile
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    JamoLew said:
    ...
    Routine scans - yes, those will have a long waiting list

    Although private care is available for cancer treatment - I generally wouldn't advise anyone to use their own money to pay for it as the treatment you get won't be any different.
    Yes you might get to see the Consultant rather than a Reg - but unless you are attending a purpose built private centre you will get no different or faster treatment than an NHS patient will - you are probably only contributing to the Consultants new car fund

    ...

    I agree that I'd be reluctant to undergo treatment as a non-NHS patient, but as you say, the waiting lists for "routine" and other scans and for specialist referrals in the NHS are so long that for many people it makes perfect sense to have that initial and investigative work done privately.  Seeing my cardiologist privately told me that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me and to stop worrying about four months earlier than if I'd stayed within the NHS.  But if I'd required treatment I suspect the private option would have been excluded for me on cost grounds.
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