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Delayed Diagnosis of Phaeochromocytoma

If you have suffered prolonged pain and suffering as a result of a delayed diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma, you could have the grounds to make a medical negligence claim. To find out more information on claiming compensation, you need to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible.

How is phaeochromocytoma diagnosed?

Phaeochromocytoma is a rare condition in which a tumour of the adrenal gland secretes excess adrenaline and/or noradrenaline. The condition is classically associated with symptoms such as headaches, sweating, palpitations and high blood pressure. Other indicators also include anxiety, nausea, tremors and weakness. These symptoms are typically episodic or paroxysmal (meaning short and frequent), as they occur when the tumour secretes a greater amount of adrenaline.

If you present to your GP complaining of such symptoms, a series of tests should be performed to confirm or refute the presence of phaeochromocytoma. Firstly, a blood pressure check should be carried out to establish whether you are suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure). Secondly, a blood test should be taken to assess your glucose, calcium and haemoglobin. Lastly (and most importantly) a 24 hour urine test should be arranged. This involves collecting all the urine you pass in a 24 hour period and sending it to the laboratory to examine your catecholamine levels. If these are found to be raised, the test should be repeated.

Should the results of these tests indicate phaeochromocytoma, you must be sent for an MRI scan as soon as possible. The images obtained should then confirm whether a tumour is present in the adrenal glands.

Is a delay in diagnosis negligent?

If you are displaying the typical symptoms of phaeochromocytoma, your GP may initially believe that you are suffering from high blood pressure, as the two are easily confused. However, if you do indeed have a tumour on your adrenal gland, your symptoms will persist and the treatment you are receiving for high blood pressure will not alleviate your health complaints. At this stage it is absolutely vital a GP investigates the problem further, as evidently something is amiss. If there is any doubt a 24 hour urine test should be performed, s this is an excellent indicator of phaeochromocytoma.

Therefore if phaeochromocytoma is not immediately diagnosed, it cannot be considered negligent, as the condition does have striking similarities to other health problems. However, if a patient's symptoms continue and further tests are not analysed correctly, or are not carried out whatsoever, there could be grounds for a medical negligence claim. We have unfortunately seen people who have an a tumour left undiagnosed for years, causing them to suffer constant attacks of palpitations, anxiety attacks, weakness and breathlessness, all of which could have been avoided with a timely diagnosis.

Have you got a claim?

If you have suffered as a result of a delayed diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma, you need to seek expert legal advice, as you could be entitled to claim compensation.

Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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