British Doctors miss life-threatening brain tumour and cyst – even though they were the size of an ORANGE
He was lucky that it took ONLY 6 months before he was allowed to see specialist
Doctors failed to spot Terry Purkiss’s life-threatening brain tumour and cyst – even though they were the size of an orange.
They repeatedly missed the symptoms over six months and when his condition was finally spotted he was told he was weeks from death unless he had urgent surgery.
He first complained to his GP about crippling headaches in January. He went on to visit three different hospitals, on one occasion in an ambulance. He was in agony, unable to walk straight and lost vision in one eye. But again and again he was given antibiotics or painkillers and sent home.
Finally he had an appointment with a neurologist booked by his GP, who found the brain tumour and cyst the size of an orange. The tumour has now been removed and Mr Purkiss is recovering at home in Thurrock, Essex.
His partner Julia Bathie, 43, said the couple have been ‘on a roller coaster to hell and back’ in the last few months. She said: ‘I’m so angry at the way Terry was treated. He was just fobbed off by doctors and endured months of pain when he didn’t need to.’
Before the brain tumour was picked up, Mr Purkiss saw two GPs, visited Basildon A&E once and Queen’s A&E in Romford three times, during which he had a CT scan. He was also taken to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.
Over the six months he was incorrectly diagnosed with an infection, cluster headaches and even the common nose disorder of a deviated septum.
The life-threatening condition wasn’t picked up until he went to an appointment with a neurologist at Orsett Hospital in June, that had been booked in as a precaution by his GP back in January.
The neurologist shined a light in Terry’s eyes and immediately picked up on the tumour. An urgent MRI was then requested, and the benign tumour and cyst were removed at Queen’s Hospital.
Julia said: ‘The doctors told him the cyst was the size of a Jaffa orange, and was one of the biggest he had ever seen. ‘They said the tumour and cyst were three millimetres away from his optic nerve, he could have lost his sight, or been left paralysed. ‘He would have been dead within four weeks if they hadn’t got it out, because of the pressure it was putting on his brain.
‘Despite what he went through before, we would like to thank Mr Low the surgeon who saved his life.’
Mr Purkiss is now recovering at home after the operation, he has since complained to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service, and Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle Price, about the care he received.
Pat Trinnaman, spokesman for Basildon Hospital said: ‘We are unable to go into details about an individual’s treatment, but it would appear that once this patient saw one of the trust’s specialists, his condition was swiftly diagnosed and treated.
‘Talking generally, patients coming to A&E with a headache or any other long-term pain or problem, would be assessed and have appropriate tests carried out. ‘A doctor would refer a patient for an x-ray or a scan only if there was a clinical indication for one. ‘It would be clinically wrong – all imaging carries a degree of risk – and financially and logistically impossible to do so as a matter of course.’
Nicola Eves, spokesman for Queen’s Hospital, added: ‘We have not received a complaint from Mr Purkiss regarding his care, but apologise if he feels that mistakes were made. ‘We are pleased that we successfully managed to remove his brain tumour and wish him a speedy recovery. ‘If a complaint is received by the trust then we always carry out a full investigation.’
Another charming British social worker
Social worker struck off for placing paedophile in foster family where he sexually abused young daughters
A social worker was struck off yesterday for placing a teenage paedophile with a foster family – where he carried out sex attacks on their two children. Julian Swan failed to tell the family the 19-year-old had a history of ‘sexually inappropriate behaviour’ with children, a disciplinary hearing was told.
It heard Swan, 51, failed to check social service case notes on the teenager before sending him to the family in 2008. The teenager went on to rape the couple’s two-year-old son and molested their nine-year-old daughter while staying under their roof.
The mother, giving evidence through a video link, said: ‘I specifically asked Mr Swan if the teenager posed a risk to us as a family. ‘Mr Swan’s response was that he poses no risk whatsoever.’ The family were told he had ‘sexual contact’ with a girl at a hostel – but that it was brushed over.
The mother said: ‘Mr Swan said he had been informed by a hostel worker the girl was promiscuous and had let him into her room. It was presented to us as an isolated incident.’
The couple agreed to look after the teenager hoping he could be a ‘big brother’ to their two children. They were not told he had sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl, exposed himself and touched a young boy sexually at a care hostel and faced other allegations of ‘sexually inappropriate behaviour’ with a young boy.
The teenager admitted rape and indecent assault at Cardiff Crown Court where he was told he would be released from prison only when he was deemed ‘no longer a risk’.
Swan denied misconduct at the hearing of the Care Council for Wales while working for Vale of Glamorgan council’s social services in Barry, South Wales. Bryan Jeffreys, director of learning and development, said: ‘He had accepted that he had not read the files. Tragically, they had not been taken into account. ‘If he had checked the files… the young person would not have been placed and the young children would not have been abused. Mr Swan was later genuinely shocked by the content of the files.’ The hearing was told a ‘red light’ system on the boy’s notes showed there was a risk.
Swan, who had been a social worker for eight years, claimed he was being made a scapegoat and had acted in good faith. He said: ‘I never sought to diminish my responsibility but there is a shared responsibility.’
He was found guilty of not reading the case file, failing to carry out an adequate assessment and not informing the carers of the risks. He was yesterday banned from working for social services ‘to ensure protection of members of the public’.
And the charming British police again: You’re guilty until proven innocent
‘They tagged me a murderer’: Fury of grieving mother accused of killing her toddler son who died of natural causes
A YOUNG mother whose son had been sent home from hospital despite being desperately ill with pneumonia was devastated to find him dead in his bed. But that was only the beginning of the nightmare for 20-year-old Abby Podmore. Within an hour she was arrested on suspicion of murdering Alfie, three.
She said ‘heavy-handed’ police sent two riot vans and 17 officers to arrest her and she was held for questioning overnight.
Miss Podmore was released the following day after post mortem examination results revealed the child had died of natural causes.
Devastated Miss Podmore soon found that a white police tent had been erected outside her home, and she was arrested on suspicion of murder just hours after her son’s death. She was kept in custody overnight until a doctor acting under orders from the local coroner informed police that Alfie had died from natural causes.
The dental nurse, from Quinton, Birmingham, has been unable to return home since the incident, with some members of the local community believing she played some part in little Alfie’s death.
Alfie was sent home from nursery on February 2 this year after he became unwell. He was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital the following day, suffering a high temperature, a rash and pain in his left shoulder. Doctors diagnosed the child with a gastric illness and prescribed him anti-acid medication before sending him home. But a post-mortem later revealed that he had suffered from pneumonia, a bacterial infection and septicaemia.
He started improving, but the following day, February 6, he became ‘very restless’ and she was up with him until 4am. She said: ‘When I eventually woke up the following day my first thought was to check on him. ‘I ran upstairs and he was lying on the bottom of his bed and wasn’t breathing. ‘He was freezing cold and had blood coming out of his nose. I started trying to resuscitate him while phoning the ambulance. I was terrified.’
Miss Podmore, who is trained in life support, continued trying to revive Alfie until paramedics arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police arrived shortly afterwards and told her to change her clothes and leave her house and stay at her brother’s home around the corner. She followed their instructions but now suspects they were already making preparations to preserve the scene and keep her clothes for forensic analysis.
Miss Podmore has hit out at police, saying that she feels she was denied the chance to grieve properly for her dead son. She said: ‘I was still struggling to cope with the news that my little boy had passed away when police officers came to tell me I was being taken into custody on suspicion of my son’s murder. I wasn’t even allowed to see his body for 10 days after he died.
‘I am ashamed that they would even think that I would do that to my child who was my world and my everything. ‘My son had just died and I was thrown into a cell and branded a murderer,’ said Miss Podmore, who is separated from Alfie’s father. ‘I’ve been robbed of my chance to say goodbye to him and this has ruined my life.’
The grieving mother has made formal complaints to both the hospital, which admits it ‘let Alfie down’, and West Midlands Police.
However officers have still not explained what prompted them to arrest her. She suspects that a neighbour told police she heard crying that night, but she said the noise would have been made by Alfie because he was in pain.
Miss Podmore, who has not been able to return home since Alfie died due to the stigma surrounding her arrest, said that she wants others to avoid her experiences. She said: ‘I love my little boy and did the very best I could for him. When he became ill my mother took him to hospital and when I got to the hospital we were later told he had a simple gastric illness and to take him home.
‘The police later told us that things should have been done differently, they apologised and said that police protocols were not correctly followed but my whole life has been turned upside down because of what happened. ‘I haven’t even been able to return home or grieve properly and I wouldn’t want anyone else to suffer as I have. I hope that speaking out will ensure valuable lessons are learnt.’
Miss Podmore has also made a formal complaint to the police and this is being investigated by the Professional Standards Department.
Guy Forster, a medical law expert from the Birmingham office of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, who is representing the family, said: ‘For Abby the past six months have been unbearable; firstly suffering the unimaginable pain of losing her only child and then being wrongly blamed for his death. ‘Abby and her partner, who was also arrested, are still suffering as a result of the heavy-handed actions of the Police and feel that they have lost their good name and reputation, with some members of the local community wrongly being led to believe they had some part in Alfie’s death.’
A full inquest is now listed to take place on 29 September 2011 at Birmingham Coroners Court.
A spokesman for the hospital said: ‘Investigations are still ongoing but it has become clear that there was more that we could have done to help Alfie.’
Charming British army bosses again — sacrificing lives to totally irrational political correctness
Soldier killed after Army bosses barred him from opening fire on Taliban insurgents planting roadside bombs
A widow revealed how her soldier husband was blown up in Afghanistan days after senior officers had apparently ‘laughed off’ his complaints that insurgents were being allowed to plant explosive devices unchallenged. Sergeant Peter Rayner, 34, phoned his wife in a ‘highly stressed’ state four days before his death and was upset that his fears were not taken seriously.
She said he and his men had watched the enemy, using night-vision goggles, plant improvised explosive devices and were not allowed to attack them. He was allegedly told by one officer: ‘I am an Army Captain and you will do your job.’
Sergeant Rayner was serving with the 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and was leading a ten-man patrol in Helmand when he was killed in an explosion last October.
Yesterday Sergeant Rayner’s widow Wendy told an inquest in Bradford that the Army had promised that her concerns would be dealt with, but she said: ‘I have been fobbed off.’
Mrs Rayner told Bradford Coroner’s Court her husband, who joined the Army at 17, had feared his own death. She said: ‘He was concerned about the number of explosive devices being planted in the area they were patrolling and had told higher ranks because he feared one of them would be killed. ‘He said they could see people planting these devices but could do nothing about it. ‘I feel that maybe if a bit more had been taken on board about what he had said then things might have been different.’
Mrs Rayner said her husband was ‘highly stressed’ when he called her, claiming that officers had ‘laughed off’ his concerns and he had been told to do his job. ‘He loved his job and I believe he deserved more respect,’ she said. ‘I know it was a routine patrol, but I believe that if he had been given a bit more respect and not just laughed off maybe they could have done something about it, we are losing too many men out there.’
Sergeant Rayner told his wife that officers told him that he and his men could not open fire on insurgents planting bombs or make contact with them. His complaints were rejected by a Sergeant Major and a Captain, the inquest heard.
The widow said: ‘I thought about it long and hard and I think he deserves his last words to be heard.’ Adding: ‘Now it’s my day, people will listen because I’m in court.’
Mrs Rayner rejected the offer by the coroner to adjourn the hearing so that officers involved could be called to give evidence. The coroner recorded a verdict that Sergeant Rayner was unlawfully killed.
Outside Bradford Coroner’s Court Mrs Rayner fired a further broadside at the Ministry of Defence, calling for rules of engagement to be changed to protect soldiers. ‘They are not allowed to return fire unless they are fired upon. But all the lads have expressed concern because the patrol area was filled with IEDs. ‘They can shoot at us and take us out but the lads can’t do that to them.
These terrorists and Taliban can do what they want yet our soldiers try to do their job and get persecuted by the law. ‘If they are going to be soldiers let them be soldiers and do their jobs. The job is hard enough as it is.
‘There will be an internal investigation, but I think the rules of engagement need to be looked into if someone is planting IEDs and threatening lives.’ She said two of Sergeant Rayner’s colleagues had also been killed before her husband’s death.
‘I am really annoyed. If they had listened a bit more then it would not have happened. He should have been taken more seriously. He was just trying to protect his men. He did protect his men – but got himself killed.’
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘The whole point of a counter insurgency operation is to protect the civilian population.’ He said soldiers had to go through a series of stages before opening fire and were sometimes asked to exercise ‘courageous restraint’ even when shots had been fired. ‘It is all about winning hearts and minds and using the least force possible,’ the spokesman said. [Maybe the spokesman should be sent on patrol among IEDs]
Moronic British airport security
Prime Minister David Cameron has been warned over a loophole in immigration which could potentially allow terrorists to enter the UK without having their passports checked. The gap in security was noticed by Conservative MP for Harlow, Robert Halfon. He voiced his concerns during Prime Minister’s Questions.
Special branch officers and immigration officials have said that they are worried that extremists could be using the Common Area Travel Channel to slip past security. The way this typically happens is for a passenger to fly into London carrying a separate ticket for travel into the capital from another airport in Britain. This is then shown in the common area where officials rarely ask to see any other form of documentation.
Mr Halfon asked Mr Cameron if he was aware that special branch and immigration at Stansted were worried that the current common area was open to abuse from those entering the UK illegally as well as terrorists and extremists.
He added that the issue urgently needed to be addressed because the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympic games were just around the corner. Mr Cameron described Mr Halfon’s point as an important one. He said that he accepted that common areas were subject to abuse and that steps would be taken to resolve the issue.
Mr Cameron added that passport-free travel offered a number of social and economic benefits and that any tightening up of the rules should not impinge on those who use the Common Area Travel Channel in a legitimate way.
A big scare from a British Liberal
Global warming will threaten Britain’s security by triggering wars, food shortages and mass migration, Energy Minister Chris Huhne warned today. Although the UK may escape the worst physical impacts of rising temperatures and sea levels, the UK will still be exposed to ‘alarming and shocking’ consequences of climate change elsewhere, he said.
The warning comes as Ministers are preparing a White Paper that will usher in a new wave of nuclear power stations and a massive expansion of wind farms to cut Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions.
In a speech to the Royal United Services think tank, Mr Huhne warned that climate change was a ‘systemic threat’ ‘With luck, the UK may well escape the worst physical impacts,’ he said. ‘But in a connected world, we will be exposed to the global consequences. And they are both alarming and shocking.’
Mr Huhne said global warming will undermine food, water and energy security, and affect health and political stability. He added: ‘Political solutions will become harder to broker; conflicts more likely. A world where climate change goes unanswered will be more unstable, more unequal, and more violent.
‘The knock-on effects will not stop at our borders. Climate change will affect our way of life – and the way we order our society. It threatens to rip out the foundations on which our security rests.’
He warned that the coming decades will bring higher temperatures, rising seas, droughts, heat waves, floods and variable rainfall unless carbon emissions are tackled by 2020.
The changing climate will add to the pressure on farming, which is already expected to face a 70 per cent rise in the demand for food by 2050 because of the rising population. “For developed economies, this will mean higher prices; for agrarian economies in the developing world, it could be catastrophic,’ Mr Huhne said.
The world has already seen riots and revolts caused by soaring food prices, he said.
In 2008 the price of cereals hit a 30 year peak, trigging riots in Bangladesh and Egypt. Food inflation contributed to revolutions in North Africa earlier this year.
Climate change will also put pressure on scarce water supplies and have a direct effect on the health of people facing rising temperatures and more frequent, severe heat waves. The 2003 European heat wave caused 35, 000 excess deaths – including 2,000 deaths in Britain.
Etc. etc. …
PROBLEM: Mr Huhne’s climate bill has been dropped anyway. The scare didn’t work
Abortion ‘increases risk of premature birth’
This is an unusual study in that it DID control for social class. It also replicates many previous findings. As abortion fills me with horror, I am certainly inclined to accept its conclusions. Scientific honesty impels me to note the weaknesses of the study, however.
Failure to control for both smoking and IQ are large lacunae. Smokers are known to be more sexually promiscuous and greater risk takers generally. So were the smokers in the sample more likely to have abortions? Almost certainly. And smokers are also more likely to have lower birthweight babies. So it could be that we are simply seeing the effects of smoking here, not the effects of abortion.
Similarly, high IQ people are both healthier and most likely better at avoiding unwanted pregnancies. So we could be seeing an IQ effect here too
Abortion appears to increase the chance of giving birth prematurely in a subsequent wanted pregnancy by a third, according to a British study.
Having a surgical abortion could increase the risk of giving birth before 37 weeks by even more than that, found academics at Aberdeen University.
Prof Siladitya Bhattacharya, a gynaecologist, and a team made their conclusions after comparing the second pregnancies of 170,000 women who had previously had an abortion, to 458,000 undergoing their first pregnancies. They found those who had experienced abortions were 33 per cent more likely to subsequently deliver pre-term than those who had never had an abortion.
They were also 44 per cent more likel to give birth extremely prematurely – before 34 weeks.
The academics controlled for social factors like class – known to be have an effect on pre-term delivery – but were unable to take into account smoking because of a lack of information.
The study was presented on Monday at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Stockholm, Sweden.
Prof Bhattacharya’s wife, Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya, an epidemiologist, who gave the presentation, said the physical act of surgical abortions in particular could damage the cervix.
She explained: “When you do a dilatation of the cervix, quite heavy, thick instruments are used. “Especially in younger women, under 25, it is particularly shown to have an effect because the cervix is quite tight.”
Their study showed that women who underwent surgical abortion were 27 per cent more likely to give birth prematurely in their next pregnancy than those who’d had a medical abortion. The team has not yet analysed the overall increased risk of pre-term birth for each type of abortion, compared to women who have not had an abortion.
Prof Bhattacharya noted that women who had undergone an abortion were only as likely to deliver prematurely as those who had previously miscarried. But he said every effort was needed to understand all the factors that led to premature deliveries. “It is important because pre-term birth is a major cause of death – and short and long-term disability – in babies.
“It also causes the NHS millions in terms of neo-natal care and millions more in terms of support for those with continuing disabilities.”
Drug gives hope to women who suffer recurring miscarriages
This is very good news indeed if replicated
British scientists believe they have found a cheap, commonly used drug which can improve the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby among women who have recurrent miscarriages.
Prednisolone is a steroid which is frequently used to help control asthma symptoms. But now fertility experts at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust have discovered it could also work to significantly reduce the risk of miscarriage.
In a trial of 160 women, all of whom had suffered three or more consecutive miscarriages, they found that those given a daily dose of the drug were much more likely to go on to have a live baby. In the women given prednisolone, 60 per cent went on to give birth. But in those given a placebo, only 40 per cent did so.
Professor Siobhan Quenby, from the trust, described it as a “huge step forward”. She said: “I am delighted with the initial outcome of the trial. This is a huge step forward for people who have the heartbreak of unexplained miscarriages. “But we will need a much bigger trial if we are going to turn these findings into a cure.”
However, she added: “I am confident within as little as a few years we will be able to offer a new test and treatment for repeated miscarriages.”
The findings were presented on Tuesday at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Stockholm.
A quarter of British primary schools do not have a single male teacher
A quarter of primary schools do not have a single male teacher. Staffrooms in 4,278 of the 16,971 primaries in England are solely populated by women, according to official figures yesterday. There are just 25,500 men teaching young children, compared with 139,500 women. To make matters worse, a quarter of the male teachers in primaries are over 50 and close to leaving the profession.
The worrying trend leaves tens of thousands of boys with little or no contact with an adult male before they reach secondary school.
And with dwindling numbers of male secondary teachers, some could finish their education without being taught by a man.
The figures, released by the Department for Education, have raised fears that bad behaviour will rise among boys whose lives lack male authority. The problem is most acute for youngsters who rarely, or never, see their father.
Ministers under the previous government pressed teacher trainers to recruit more men. However, the Coalition has lifted this pressure, shifting the focus to the recruitment of more highly qualified teachers.
Nick Seaton, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘These are shocking figures. Young boys especially need male role models.
‘Ideally each school should have at least two male teachers to provide a male perspective on life.’
The figures show that the area with the highest proportion of primary schools without a single male teacher is Bedford where 61 per cent of schools, a total of 31, do not have a ‘Sir’ on the staff.
The figure in Central Bedfordshire is 57 per cent, Northumberland 53 per cent, North Yorkshire 48 per cent, West Berkshire 45 per cent, and Windsor and Maidenhead 44 per cent.
Areas that have 100 or more primary schools without any male teachers are North Yorkshire on 154, Essex 151, Hampshire 148, Derbyshire 139, Hertfordshire 128, Surrey 120, Norfolk 115, Lancashire 115, Kent 104, and Cumbria 100.
At the other end of the spectrum, just one of 29 schools in Blackpool and two of 66 in the east London borough of Newham are women-only.
Conservative MP Philip Hollobone has raised the issue in the Commons. He said: ‘This is especially a problem because there are more and more families where children are growing up without a father. ‘The teachers in primary school are overwhelmingly women, and they do a great job. ‘But it would be even better if there were more male teachers to act as role models, particularly to young boys.’
A DfE spokesman said: ‘Quality of teaching in our schools is what we should all be looking at, regardless of gender. ‘Our job is to recruit the best men and women into the profession and give them outstanding training. ‘We’ve extended Teach First to primary schools so top graduates will be placed directly into deprived schools. ‘We’re offering bursaries of up to £20,000 to plug the gap in subjects where posts are tough to fill. ‘And we are opening a network of teaching schools, many linked to universities, to train teachers on the job.’