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Patients “died after biopsy error”


18 January, 2008  

A hospital trust has revealed that two patients died after the results of their biopsies were misread.

North East Wales NHS Trust examined the results of 4,500 cancer tests, and said three people are being treated for the disease at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

It also urged another 12 to come in for further screening, but it has now emerged two of these people have died.

But the Trust insists they did not suffer any treatment delays, and that the cancer was diagnosed by other means.

The mistakes were made by 64-year-old histopathologist Dr Roger Williams.

He retired as a medical director three years ago but continued to work part-time at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital. He resigned when the mistakes were discovered.

Spokesman Andy Scotson said: “As a result of the 10% sampling exercise we have identified 12 patients whose test results were incorrectly reported.

“On reviewing these cases we have identified that two of the patients have since died.

“In both cases the histology samples in question were part of a wider diagnostic process that included consideration of the clinical symptoms and examination, the results of scans and x-rays, visual examination using endoscopy and other procedures and blood sampling.

“We have made a careful review of each of the two cases and it is clear that these other considerations led the clinical teams to the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment was not delayed.”

Copyright © PA Business 2008

North East Wales NHS Trust