Failure to follow-up report had a ‘serious effect’

A failure to follow up on an abnormal X-ray had a “serious effect” on the health of a woman who later died from cancer, a Medical Council disciplinary inquiry heard yesterday.

Expert witness Dr Kathleen McGarry said Dr Emmanuel Gbadebo Alabi should have flagged the report with his superiors.

Dr McGarry, a consultant physician at Navan Hospital, said the X-ray report from Evelyn McGinn showed enlarged lymph nodes in her chest. The report recommended she be referred to a respiratory physician.

The cause of the enlarged lymph nodes was subsequently shown to be malignant.

“There’s no doubt that an earlier diagnosis would have helped with various management strategies,” she said.

“This failure to not follow up on the X-ray was a serious omission and had a serious effect on the health of Ms Evelyn McGinn.”

Dr Emmanuel insisted he spoke with his registrar — his superior in the hospital and whom he was shadowing — about the X-ray report.

Dr McGarry said if this conversation did happen, responsibility would lie with the registrar. She pointed out that there is no record of such a conversation.

The inquiry was adjourned to July 11.


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