Sunday, March 8, 2015

“Woman suing Oregon hospital over misplaced brain tumor”

I have two reactions to this story: one juvenile and one serious.

My first reaction was “How do I lose my brain tumor? Can I turn a sharp corner or make some sort of basketball ball dribble move and lose the dame thing? Somehow this headline makes it seem easy or, perversely, that you have to work at keeping it from getting lost.”

Sadly, the truth is awful.

According to the KPTV news cast “A woman filed a lawsuit against Oregon Health and Science University, claiming that doctors somehow misplaced a tumor removed from her brain.”

I started asking myself some questions, questions like, “How do you lose a brain tumor in a hospital? I mean, things like that don’t just fall off the tray once they’re removed. But if they did, maybe it got swept up by the night janitorial crew. 

Actually, the answers probably much simpler - misfiling. Did they look in the thyroid tumor drawer? Or maybe they filed it in the 'Back' tumor cabinet since they both start with the letter 'B'.”

If the hospital knows, they ain’t telling. Why? (And here's where the "awful" part comes in) “Because the tumor was lost, doctors were not able to determine if it was malignant or benign, meaning Stewart (i.e. the patient) must now undergo routine testing to find out if the tumor is growing back.”

Let me get this straight, they didn’t even do a biopsy? Or maybe they did but lost that, too? This, of course, raises all sorts of disturbing problems. What if she has GBM and needs to have radiation or chemo immediately?  

So, insult to injury, she has NO IDEA what kind of tumor she had or what she should do next.

What I’m doing next is making sure that I, or my loved ones, never go to Oregon Health and Science University … who is still looking for the missing tumor (unless, of course, it got thrown out with the recycling).

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