A false cancer diagnosis led to part of Broken Hill man Dennis Jackson’s lungs being removed. He then died of pneumonia at the Royal Adelaide Hospital
A Broken Hill man was wrongly diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent major surgery after a tiny fragment of another’s cancerous tissue contaminated his own sample, an inquest has been told.
Dennis Charles Jackson died in January 2019 after spending more than 60 days in intensive care in the months following an upper lobectomy on his left lung at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Examination of a man who had a portion of his lung unnecessarily removed.
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Opening an inquest held in Adelaide on Tuesday, a lawyer supporting Emma Roper said a specialist initially told Jackson there was a slim chance the growth in his left lung in 2018 was cancerous.
Further tests were conducted and a technician reported finding a free-floating fragment of squamous cell carcinoma – a form of lung cancer.
Roper said that after that report and a meeting with a multidisciplinary team at the RAH, surgery was recommended.
But she said after parts of Jackson’s lungs were removed, samples sent to SA pathology found no evidence of malignancy.
Jackson’s niece Tanya Williams said the family was shocked when the SA pathology letter arrived, saying he had been misdiagnosed.
“For my uncle, it was like walking into the hospital and getting hit by a train, then walking out of the hospital and getting hit by another train,” Willams said.
“What was hard was watching him die.”
About a month after the surgery, Jackson returned to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with hospital-acquired pneumonia.
He spent 63 days in intensive care and was eventually transferred to a ward and admitted for rehabilitation, but his respiratory failure continued to worsen and led to his death.
Williams said it was difficult to see her uncle decay after a short while
“He couldn’t eat anymore, he couldn’t drink anymore, his life was nothing.”
Roper said the investigation would look at a number of questions, including how Jackson’s biopsy could have become contaminated, whether the piece of tissue should have been identified as a contaminant, and whether further testing should have been done before the operation.
“Your Honor is expected to hear evidence that a tiny piece of tissue belonging to another patient was transferred into Mr Jackson’s biopsy specimen during the embedding process at the Royal Adelaide Hospital laboratory,” Roper said.
It also examines how Jackson’s left vocal cord was damaged.
The investigation is ongoing.
– With Sowaibah Hanifie and Kimberley Pratt
https://7news.com.au/politics/law-and-order/a-wrong-cancer-diagnosis-led-to-part-of-denniss-lung-being-removed-then-he-died-of-pneumonia-at-royal-adelaide-hospital-c-9686523 A false cancer diagnosis led to part of Broken Hill man Dennis Jackson’s lungs being removed. He then died of pneumonia at the Royal Adelaide Hospital