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Case Study

£2.45m claim against NHS Commissioning Board for delay in diagnosing pituitary tumour

Julia Hamilton was instructed by a man who, as a result of a negligent delay in diagnosing a pituitary tumour, was left blind.

The Claimant began to experience recurrent headaches and went to his GP.  The headaches continued over the course of a year and he was referred to neurology at the Royal Oldham Hospital.  The headaches were getting worse and he had occasional photophobia. He was given the probable diagnosis of migraines due to a family history of the condition.

Subsequently, the Claimant was seen in A&E with right sided temporal eye pain and vomiting. He also reported night sweats, weight loss, shortness of breath and tiredness and mild anaemia. A fundoscopy reported no abnormalities and another diagnosis of migraines was made and he was discharged home.

The Claimant's symptoms persisted over the next couple of years until his GP sent him for blood tests. The results confirmed that he had very low testosterone levels but normal gonadatrophins.  He was referred to the Urologists for further investigation and was prescribed testogel. No further investigations were undertaken and the Claimant was discharged. The Urologist should have referred him to an endocrinologist, but this did not happen.

Throughout the following years, the Claimant continued to complain of headaches, low mood, lack of appetite, loss of concentration and loss of libido. He went back to A&E several times.   Sadly, the Claimant then lost his sight and when he attended A&E again, a CT scan revealed a pituitary gland tumour.

The Claimant was referred to Hope Hospital for neurosurgery to remove the tumour but unfortunately his vision could not be saved.

Had a referral to an endocrinologist been made at the outset, an MRI and CT scan would have revealed the tumour which would have been monitored for growth and then surgically removed. The growth of the tumour would have been prevented and the pituitary apoplexy that led to loss of vision would have been avoided. 

The Claimant suffered complete, permanent loss of vision along with pituitary and hormonal imbalance. He requires lifelong pituitary hormone replacement to maintain quality of life and prevent death due to hypopituitarism. Due to weight gain caused by the imbalance, he developed type 2 diabetes which would have also been avoided.  As a result of his physical injuries, the claimant developed a psychological injury.

The case settled for a total of £2.45 million.

Contact us

For further information about delayed diagnosis claims and medical negligence claims, please call Julia Hamilton on 0161 268 8620 or email julia.hamilton@fieldfisher.com.

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