A Cancer Misdiagnosis in Canada
In January 2015, after seeking care for abdominal pain with her family doctor in Nova Scotia, 85-year-old Isabel Palmeter was told that she had a full bowel and was told to take laxatives after an x-ray was taken. Three days later, she was taken by ambulance to Hants Community Hospital in Windsor, where she was again instructed to take more laxatives before being sent home. The next day, she was seen by yet another doctor, who told her that there was no blockage of her bowel, though she was admitted overnight.
Constipation was the official diagnosis, but her pains worsened as she continued to be treated with laxatives. Eventually, she was taken to Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax for a CT scan, followed by immediate surgery, during which her colon was removed. It was discovered that her colon died 48 hours before the surgery and that a cancerous tumor blocking her bowel would necessitate additional surgery to remove her uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. She began cancer treatments in April of 2015 after the misdiagnosis, which eventually ended in her death in November 2016, due to the aggressive form of cancer.
Isabel Palmeter’s case is an extreme example of what can happen when the limitations of equipment at rural hospitals are not acknowledged and accommodated for. As a result of the fatal cancer misdiagnosis, Isabel’s son Dale has stated, “Humans aren’t perfect, which means doctors aren’t perfect. Mistakes can be made. What do you do in the health care system to try to minimize those mistakes?”
A medical second opinion from one of the world’s leading academic and research hospitals can minimize those mistakes. When a diagnosis is unclear or an initial treatment plan is not working effectively, a medical second opinion from a team of world class medical specialists at top-ranked research and academic hospitals, such as those of the WorldCare Consortium®, will help to confirm or modify a diagnosis, as well as suggest optimal treatment plans. Because of WorldCare’s unique relationship with the top-ranked facilities in the WorldCare Consortium®, our medical second opinion service is the gold-standard in the industry. Our medical second opinions are focused on all aspects of a patient’s case to ensure that the correct diagnosis and optimal treatment plan are established.
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