Andalucian Health System Sued for not Treating Tuberculosis Patient

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THE Administrative Court of Sevilla has sentenced the Andalucian Health Service (SAS) to compensate the family of a 69-year-old woman with €20,400 who died in October 2018 from latent tuberculosis that was not diagnosed or treated.

As reported by Andalucia Informacion, the Patient Ombudsman has reported that the events occurred at the Reina Sofía Hospital in Cordoba, dependent on the SAS and date back to January 2017, when the patient began to be treated with appropriate medication for her Crohn-type inflammatory bowel disease. However, the problem with this drug is that it has the ability to awaken the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, being an immunosuppressant.

According to the association, around 15 per cent of Spaniards, especially from the age of 40, are unaware that they have latent tuberculosis, and there are medications like the one used on this occasion with the ability to wake it up. This requires a previous tuberculin test, which must be repeated, to ensure that the person does not have latent tuberculosis before administering the drug.

However, the test was not repeated for the deceased woman, while “what is worse they had a CT scan, with peri-bronchial nodules of infectious origin that went unnoticed,” says the association. In this way, “the protocols that force to rule out the existence of tuberculosis were breached, and the aforementioned medication that the lady had been taking for more than a year was prescribed”

In addition, if the tuberculin test had been carried out properly, and the CT scan had not gone unnoticed, “they would simply have given her antituberculosis antibiotic therapy” with another drug that “cures latent tuberculosis” so that the patient “would have continued treatment without any risk.” The association adds “Failure to make a correct diagnosis and treatment, on the contrary, led the patient to death from severe respiratory failure due to miliary pulmonary tuberculosis.”

Therefore, the sentence, as explained by the association’s lawyer, María Jesús Villalpando, understands that “the duty to place the appropriate means of treatment and diagnoses in the hands of the patient was breached.”


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Written by

Diane Burke

Diane is from Limerick, Ireland and has previously lived in Seville. Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism and Public Relations she has a keen interest in digital media. As well as her passion for news, she enjoys learning about human psychology, practising pilates and has a soft spot for tapas!


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