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Friday, December 29, 2006

When No News Isn't Good News: A medical error

Heather Kubiak has finally reached a resolution of her case. Ms. Kubiak, a mother of four, lives with her husband and kids on the western coast of New Zealand. The medical error that affected her affects many others too: an urgent message in her hospital medical file was misplaced. As a result, her breast cancer was not detected for another year and a half. By that time, the cancer had grown, and she had to have both breasts removed. Now, two years later, she has received a small settlement from the hospital, whose investigation acknowledged it had been their fault.

Advice for patients: Make sure you learn whether your mammogram was positive or negative. Don’t assume that no news is good news.

Read more about Heather’s story, or read one of our recent news items about early detection.