ERI review ordered after man coughed up blood for year

Edinburgh Royal Infirmary
Edinburgh Royal Infirmary
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NHS Lothian been ordered to apologise and review procedures after a man coughed up blood for a year.

Scottish Public Service Ombudsman Jim Martin has ordered a serious clinical incident review at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after staff missed a man’s cancer for a year when a simple examination would have revealed the problem.

The man, known as Mr C, was referred by his GP in September 2010 after he began coughing up blood.

He was sent away several times but his GP persisted and he was finally diagnosed with throat cancer in September 2011.

Mr Martin said: “I am concerned that had Mr C’s GP practice not been so persistent in pursuing his case, his cancer could have been left undiagnosed until the prognosis for him was significantly worse.

“I am also concerned that the appropriate examination required to diagnose the cancer was not carried out, given that it was a simple one, involving careful examination of the mouth and tonsils with a tongue depressor.”

He ordered a serious clinical incident review, a review of procedures and an apology.