Compensation recovered for a delay in diagnosing Tuberculosis

Tuesday 4th June 2024

The Medical Negligence Team were successful in recovering damages for a gentleman who suffered a delay in diagnosing Tuberculosis, as a result of a failure to communicate a positive IGRA test. 

What Happened

On 18th March 2019, the Claimant attended a GP appointment as he was complaining of symptoms of excessive sweating. The GP arranged for the Claimant to undergo an (IGRA) test (T-spot).

On 26th March 2019, the Claimant attended the surgery and the test was performed. The sample was sent off to Oxford Immunotec Limited and they performed the diagnostic test on the sample on or around 28th March 2019. The results were abnormal and were indicative of TB. 

The results of the blood sample was not received at the GP Surgery until 19th August 2019. On 21st August 2019, the Claimant spoke with the GP who informed him that the blood test results were abnormal and that it was likely he had active TB. An urgent referral was made to the TB Clinic.

The Claimant was seen by the Respiratory Services at Walsall Manor Hospital on 28th August 2019 and he was diagnosed with bilateral pulmonary tuberculosis. He was then commenced on medication for the TB.

The Claimant continues to suffer from breathlessness on exertion and aching in the left side of his chest. He has also been assessed as having a 10% respiratory disability.

How Waldrons were able to help

Francesca Hodgetts, from our Medical Negligence Team, was instructed to look into matters and extensive investigations were carried out. This included obtaining expert witness evidence from a Consultant in General and Respiratory Medicine.

The expert confirmed that there was a four month delay in diagnosing the Claimant’s TB and as a result, the Claimant developed an increase in residual scarring and severity of the residual lung damage.

It was also identified during investigations that the positive test result was sent from Oxford Immunotec Limited, but it was in fact sent to the wrong GP Surgery. The contact details for the Claimant’s GP Surgery had not been updated on the distribution list, resulting in the delay in the GP receiving the results.

A Letter of Notification was sent to Oxford Immunotec Limited and Walsall CCG, with both responding by denying that they were the correct Defendant. It remained unclear as to who was responsible for ensuring that the GP details remained up to date and correct for reporting purposes.

The Claimant was therefore advised that the best way to proceed would be to issue Court Proceedings against the GP Practice, Oxford Immunotec Limited and Walsall CCG. During the proceedings Oxford Immunotec Limited and Walsall CCG agreed to settle the claim and a successful settlement was reached shortly after Court proceedings were issued. The Claim against the GP was discontinued.