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EB, from Solihull, was reassured by this news, so as a result she did not seek further medical attention when the breast lump increased in size. After six months she went back to the breast surgeon to have the lump removed because it was causing her some discomfort.
At this point the original biopsy was reviewed. It was found that the original sample was indeed abnormal and cancer cells were visible. EB subsequently required a full left mastectomy and an implant inserted into her left breast. She also underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
EB instructed Natasha Read, a solicitor in the medical negligence team of Shoosmiths, to bring a clam against Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust in relation to the misreporting of the original biopsy.
Natasha was successful in claiming that if the original biopsy had been reported correctly, EB’s breast cancer would have been spotted at the time rather than her having to wait a further six months, during which time the cancer had progressed.
Had the correct diagnosis been made earlier, she could have been treated with a simple lumpectomy (removal of the breast lump) rather than requiring the removal of the whole breast or the need to insert an implant.
Even after the surgery EB was very self-conscious and unhappy with the appearance of the implant, which also caused her some pain and discomfort. Her breast surgeon recommended exchange of the implant or a further procedure where her left breast would be reconstructed using the abdominal muscles.
The Hospital Trust admitted that EB had been treated negligently in that the biopsy had been misreported. EB also received an apology for the poor standard of care she received.
Shoosmiths obtained compensation to reflect EB’s pain and suffering associated with the unnecessary mastectomy, for the care she had needed following surgery, her loss of earnings and also for future breast reconstruction surgery.
At the conclusion of her case, EB said:
‘Natasha Read was fantastic throughout the process of my claim for delayed diagnosis. She was thoughtful, kept me informed and explained quite complicated legal terms so I could understand them. I could not have asked for a better solicitor and have already recommended Natasha to a colleague who may also have a claim.’