Monday 22 July 2019

Utrecht hospital pays record damages to cancer victim

Utrecht University’s teaching hospital has paid over €350,000 in compensation to a victim of a medical error – the largest payout ever made in the Netherlands, the NRC says on Friday.

Irish national Adrienne Cullen was tested for cervical cancer in 2011 without her knowledge when she was dealing with a medical problem. However, the results, which were positive, ended up unread in her medical file.

Two years later, a researcher uncovered the case and Cullen was alerted to the fact she had cancer. However, by then the cancer had spread and Cullen, who is 55, has now been given less than a year to live.

The hospital has admitted its failings and apologised that ‘everything has taken so long’.

According to the NRC, the compensation package is the biggest ever awarded in the Netherlands for a personal injury claim. Her husband will also receive a payment of €192,000 when she dies.

Health ministry inspectors said the hospital had reacted correctly when the mistake was identified and has implemented new measures to prevent it happening again.

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