Woman's colon removed after misread CT scan: suit
A B.C. woman who says half her large intestine was wrongly removed because of a misread CT scan is suing the local health authority and the unqualified radiologist who read the results.
Sophia Hilleren underwent hemicolectomy surgery in May 2010 after "significant misreadings" of her CT scan and small bowel follow-through results led her doctors to believe that she had colon cancer, according to a suit filed in B.C. Supreme Court on July 19.
When doctors examined the excised portions of Hilleren's colon, they discovered that she did not, in fact, have cancer. A qualified radiologist re-examined Hilleren's scans and found no abnormalities, according to the lawsuit.
"Due to the negligence of the defendants, the plaintiff underwent unnecessary surgeries and ... will be on medications for the rest of her life," Hilleren's suit alleges.
The suit also claims that the gratuitous surgery will likely lead to diarrhea and malnutrition, and that Hilleren faces a life filled with stress, anxiety, depression, nausea and constant cramps.
Hilleren's scans were originally analyzed by Dr. Mansukhlal Mavji Parmar at Powell River General Hospital; since Hilleren's surgery, health officials have revealed that Parmar did not have the proper credentials to work as a radiologist.
Hilleren's suit says that she received a letter from the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority in June telling her that Parmar's reading of her scan was "misleading."
The lawsuit names Parmar, the health authority and Parmar's unidentified supervisor as defendants, and asks for damages for pain and suffering, health care costs and lost income, among others.
None of the allegations in Hilleren's claim have been proven in court.
Hilleren's lawyer told CTV News he has been unable to locate Parmar to serve him with the suit. Parmar is no longer practicing in B.C. and could not be reached for comment.
The health authority has yet to file a statement of defence, and a spokeswoman told ctvbc.ca that she was unable to comment while the case is before the court.
A review of how almost 7,000 CT scans were allowed to be analyzed by B.C. radiologists with questionable credentials is expected to be complete by the end of August.
BC Patient Safety and Quality Council chairman Dr. Doug Cochrane's review centres on four radiologists practicing in Powell River, Dawson Creek, Langley and the Fraser Valley.