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Wednesday, 10 March 2010

57,000 adult X-rays not reviewed at Tallaght Hospital.

On March 9th, RTE news reported that more than 57,000 adult X-rays taken at Tallaght Hospital between 2005 and 2009 were not read by a consultant radiologist. One patient has died and another is currently undergoing treatment for cancer as a result of delayed diagnosis.

The Afternoon Show speaks to Rebecca O'Malley, a cancer survivor and patient rights advocate. We also speak to Stephen McMahon from the Irish Patients Association.

The story at Tallaght Hospital:

A patient died when their diagnosis was delayed at Tallaght Hospital because x-rays were not reviewed by a consultant radiologist. More than 57,000 X-rays taken at the hospital in Dublin between 2005 and the end of 2009 were not reviewed by a consultant radiologist. The controversy only relates to adult patients and does not involve paediatrics. One died last summer and another is undergoing treatment for cancer. The hospital said that it informed the family of the patient who died as a result of a delayed diagnosis. It said it had also spoken to the other patient today.

Tallaght Hospital CEO designate Professor Kevin Conlon said he was 'stunned' to learn of the problem when he was appointed on 14 December last year and was only informed today of the case of the patient who died. Prof Conlon said the X-rays would have been reviewed at the time by a non-radiologist, most likely another clinician. In December, extra staff were appointed to clear the radiology backlog and to date, 34,752 of the 57,921 X-rays have now been reviewed and reports finished. The hospital hopes to have the 23,169 remaining X-rays reviewed by May. The X-rays were for various tests including cancer, heart checks and orthopaedics.

To contact the Tallaght X-ray Helpline, call 1800-283059 from 9am-5pm.