The Doctor Mistakenly Examined An Eight-Year-Old X-ray; A Teenager Died Four Months Later

Micah Gillings of Cambourne, Cambridgeshire was nineteen years old when he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart as evidenced in an X-ray taken in January 2020.

An article appeared this week in Hot Lifestyle News describing events that took place at an inquest in Peterborough’s Town Hall. The cause of death was listed as a rupture of the aorta, a major artery carrying blood from the heart.

An Accident or Physician Burnout?

Micah went to his March 2021 follow-up appointment and saw his general practitioner, Dr. ‘Barnes’.

At the inquest, Dr. Barnes acknowledged that he did not double-check the date on Micah’s X-ray, as he assumed that there would not be many X-rays on file for a nineteen-year-old. This incorrect assumption led Dr. Barnes to tell Micah that his heart was healthy.

Attendees at the inquest heard that Dr. Barnes had been contacted initially by Micah in December 2019. Micah was suspected of having pneumonia. A chest X-ray was taken by Helen Addley, M.D. Dr. Addley, a radiology consultant, told those attending the inquest that the X-ray she performed at Addenbrooke’s Hospital on January 9, 2020, showed Micah had an enlarged heart. She filed the report with Dr. Barnes.

Micah’s next appointment at Monkfield Medical was on March 12, 2021. Dr. Barnes read the results of Micah’s old 2012 X-ray which showed his heart as being normal.

Dr. Barnes admitted that he read the 2012 X-ray as the most current and said he had expected a further explanation from “the notes”. He said that had he been aware of the true 2020 results, he would have definitely sent Micah to a cardiologist.

The testimonies of Dr. Barnes and Dr. Addley were presented amid further confusion about administrative procedures associated with the 2020 report. The doctors were asked why the report had not been filed in a timely manner nor was it filed in the appropriate location. The explanation given was that there was a backlog in administration.

A Promising Life Cut Short

Micah’s favorite sport was basketball. He was a very open and loving person, described by his family as just loving everyone. His plans were to study business at Manchester’s Metropolitan University.

Micah’s mother, Natasha, said he may have had Marfan syndrome, which is a genetic disorder that causes weakening of the aorta and heart.

Questions from the Coroner

The coroner, Andrew Perfect, attempted to clarify by asking Dr. Barnes again if he discussed the 2012 X-ray with Micah telling him his heart was normal. He asked Dr. Barnes if that is the evidence he is presenting and to confirm that he did not notice the date of the X-ray.

The coroner adjourned the inquest, adding that Dr. Barnes is advised to retain an attorney before releasing further evidence. The coroner also advised that Monkfield Medical and Addenbrooke Hospital will, at the next hearing, continue to be persons of interest. 

Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

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