Kerry scan review shows 100 extra patients recalled

University Hospital Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD ©

A fresh update on the review of the scan procedures conducted at University Hospital Kerry showed a total of 374 patients were recalled for repeat imaging — over one hundred more than was previously confirmed.

And 11 people had been misdiagnosed, one more than previously stated, it emerged.

The review of errors uncovered was completed in February last and involved some 46,235 scans relating to almost 26,000 patients.

Quality checks are currently being completed and a report is expected in a number of weeks.

In yesterday’s edition of Kerry’s Eye newspaper, a consultant radiologist at the Kerry hospital, Dr Martin Schranz, said public patients faced serious health risks due to clerical delays in assigning them a patient number, to permit a scan at the hospital.

When a patient is referred to the hospital for a scan they had to be assigned a number by clerical staff and delays were occurring, he said.

The consultant said he was unable to scan a patient which GPs were anxious about, as a number had not been provided.

He said the only option for public patients, in a hurry for a scan, was by access through the emergency department which was creating delays in that department.

Meanwhile, the recall at the Tralee hospital had been the biggest-ever such review undertaken in Ireland and included X-rays and ultrasound.

The likely errors were said to be the work of a single consultant over an 18-month period between March 2016 and July 2017.

The review began in October and was completed in mid-February by a team of external radiologists.

A spokesperson for the Tralee hospital yesterday said the look-back of the images of 26,756 patients saw a total of 374 patients recalled for re-imaging.

“Eleven patients with diagnostic errors have been identified,” the hospital said.

The quality assurance examination of the audit, meanwhile, is continuing and is expected to finish in the coming weeks.

“University Hospital Kerry acknowledges the understanding of those patients involved in the process and the patience and courtesy shown to staff members at the hospital," it said.

The review was ordered after a small number of serious cancer diagnoses came to light in July last. However, the severity of the problem only became public in December.

However, by February 15th, all of the images of the 26,756 patients had been audited by the clinical subgroup which had involved external radiologists.

At the time, it was reported 10 patients were identified as having a missed or delayed diagnosis and 272 patients were recalled for repeat imaging.

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