Son tells inquest of difficulty accessing mother's records

Friday 29 August 2014 22.04
Maureen Desmond was diagnosed in 2009 with irritable bowel disease but was later found to have late-stage cancer
Maureen Desmond was diagnosed in 2009 with irritable bowel disease but was later found to have late-stage cancer

Stephen Desmond, the son of a woman who died from uterine cancer after being misdiagnosed with irritable bowel disease, has told the inquest into her death that he has had problems getting all of his mother's medical records from the Mater Hospital.

The inquest into the death of Maureen Desmond resumed at Dublin City Coroner's Court today.

The 74-year-old was diagnosed in 2009 with irritable bowel disease but a year later was found to have late-stage uterine cancer.
 
Ms Desmond had been first referred by her GP to the Mater Hospital in Dublin in November 2007 and she died in September 2011.

The inquest has previously heard that Ms Desmond had a hysteroscopy in 2008 and a CT scan in 2009 at the Mater and that these were deemed normal by the hospital.
 
In 2010, another hysteroscopy and scan revealed that she had stage three cancer that had spread.
 
In 2011, Ms Desmond had a partial response to chemotherapy.
 
After her first referral to the Mater in November 2007, it was nine months before an outpatient appointment for a hysteroscopy and a tissue sample was made.

Dr Arthur Grey, an expert independent witness for the coroner, re-examined radiology scans in the case.

Dr Grey, a consultant radiologist at Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast, said that in 2009, there was evidence of a small amount of metastatic disease in Ms Desmond's case.

In 2010, the CT scan showed there was extensive metastatic disease in certain areas.

John Gleeson, Senior Counsel for the Mater Hospital, said there were limitations to Dr Grey's report.

He also told the inquest it was also based on hindsight.

Under questioning by counsel for the hospital, Dr Grey said it was easier for him as a reviewer of the radiology who knows the final outcome of cancer.

The inquest has now adjourned until 26 September when it will hear from one of the main doctors who treated Ms Desmond.