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Former breast cancer nurse undergoes ‘horrendous’ mixed-up procedure

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Diagnosed with aggressive grade three breast cancer requiring immediate surgery, former breast cancer nurse, Elizabeth Dawes aged 39 from Stafford, elected to undergo the procedure in an attempt to eradicate the disease. Four days after her invasive surgery, and facing the prospect of a course of chemotherapy, directors at the New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton informed Ms Dawes that she had been the victim of a “mix-up”, and that in fact the procedure had not been necessary. 

It was revealed that there had been an error in the notes of three of the hospital’s patients and that the notes had been mixed up. Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust have apologised for the incident, which occurred in July 2013, describing it as a “terrible error”.

Ms Dawes described the extensive scarring that she suffered as a result of the procedure as “horrendous” and added that she was left shocked and in extreme pain. She was advised by doctors to undergo a bilateral breast lift in an attempt to repair some of the damage caused by the operation. 

Full investigation underway

She described her devastation at being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in her thirties, and how fearing the worst, she was compelled to get her finances in order and plans to provide for her children should the worst happen. She added that she was willing to undergo “whatever treatment it took” and did not think twice about undergoing the operation.

Ms Dawes was offered an unreserved apology from the medical director and the nurse director of the trust, and was assured that a full investigation was underway.

Due to the enormous impact on her life, Ms Dawes has given up her career as a breast cancer nurse. The trust have admitted liability and have confirmed that a settlement is being investigated.

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