Hospital told patient problem was 'in his head'

25th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

25 April 2006, MADRID – The authorities in Madrid have admitted responsibility for a patient's death from a kidney tumour which was wrongly diagnosed as a mental problem.

25 April 2006

MADRID – The authorities in Madrid have admitted responsibility for a patient's death from a kidney tumour which was wrongly diagnosed as a mental problem.

The 63-year-old retired plasterer, known officially as ALS, went to the emergency section of the Fundacion Hospital Alcorcon three times in the two weeks before his death. He complained he was having problems urinating and that his legs were so weak he could not stand up.

After carrying out X-rays and medical examinations, doctors passed him on to the psychiatric ward, concluding the problem was all in his mind. He was even subscribed drugs used for patients suffering from paranoia and schizophrenia.

He returned home on two occasions and finally died in hospital on 23 September 2004.

At the family's request, an autopsy was carried out which clearly showed he had a tumour in his right kidney.

The tumour was not malignant, but the size of the kidney – which weighed 800 grams compared to a normal one weighing 138-180g – eventually caused the patient's death.

A report by a medical inspector said an abdominal scan should have been carried out on the patient and would have correctly diagnosed the problem.

The inspector recommended the health department of the Madrid Comunidad pay legal compensation to the man's family. The department awarded a payment of EUR 102,483.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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