A suspected lung cancer diagnosis was not shared among doctors on two occasions, resulting in a fatal medical error that delayed the detection of cancer in a patient by about four and a half years, a hospital here announced on November 24.
The patient in question died of lung cancer on August 27. According to the Kawasaki Municipal Ida Hospital in Nakahara Ward, a Kawasaki resident in her 80 s was hospitalized in December 2017 with a femur fracture and underwent a CT scan. A doctor in the diagnostic radiology department noticed the suspicion of lung cancer and compiled an examination report. The attending orthopedic surgeon did not read the report because the woman's fracture surgery had already been completed.
The woman was hospitalized for a lumbar compression fracture in December 2021. The same radiologist who was in charge of her in 2017 prepared a report acknowledging the suspicion of lung cancer but mistakenly assumed that her cancer treatment had already begun and failed to alert her attending physician, a different orthopedic surgeon from 2017. The surgeon hasn't checked the report, but he only looked at the CT of the lumbar spine.
The woman was transported to the Ida Hospital for suspected heart failure in May this year. A respiratory physician found the description of suspected lung cancer in her lungs because of fluid in her lungs. The hospital director, Daisuke Ito, apologized, saying if she had started treatment earlier, she might have survived.