GPs failure to diagnose Genetic Haemochromatosis

Specialist Medical Negligence Paralegal, Sarah Hale, has settled a claim relating to the failures of several GPs to diagnose Mr C’s father’s Genetic Haemochromatosis (an iron overload disorder) and subsequently the failure to recommend genetic testing for Mr C and the rest of his family, upon receipt of which he would have received his own diagnosis of Genetic Haemochromatosis and treatment for the same.

This case was particularly interesting as the Claimant had to argue that the normal duty of care to a patient should be extended beyond the patient to include their family due to the genetic nature of the disorder and the requirement that family members should have been tested and would have been diagnosed had Mr C’s father been diagnosed, when he first consulted with his GPs.

Mr C visited the GP a number of times at his GP surgery and although his blood tests confirmed his diagnosis of Genetic Hemochromatosis, he was not informed of his abnormal result and diagnosis, and therefore his family, including his son (the Claimant), did not receive the genetic testing and necessary treatment until over 8 years later.

As a result of the GP failures to diagnose his father’s Haemochromatosis, Mr C suffered 8 years of severe fatigue, and associated symptoms, which would have been avoided had he received his diagnosis and venesection (blood removal) treatment earlier.

The GP Defendants initially denied liability, so proceedings were subsequently issued and served. A settlement of £35,000 was agreed shortly after this.

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