Man dies in wrong di­ag­no­sis

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

A MAN who died of can­cer was wrongly di­ag­nosed by a doc­tor as hav­ing Lyme dis­ease and treated for 30 weeks with an­tibi­otics.

The Health Care Com­plaints Com­mis­sion pros­e­cuted Dr Peter Mayne be­fore a Med­i­cal Pro­fes­sional Stan­dards Com­mit­tee and found the doc­tor guilty of un­sat­is­fac­tory pro­fes­sional con­duct.

The pa­tient was a 68-yearold smoker suf­fer­ing from chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease. He also had doc­u­mented is­chaemic heart dis­ease, hy­per­ten­sion and em­phy­sema.

In Fe­bru­ary 2012, Dr Mayne di­ag­nosed the man with Lyme dis­ease. The tick­borne dis­ease is not recog­nised in Aus­tralia be­cause re­searchers say the bac­te­ria re­spon­si­ble has not been found in lo­cal an­i­mals or ticks.

De­spite that, Dr Mayne in­ap­pro­pri­ately treated the pa­tient with an­tibi­otic in­jec­tions for Lyme dis­ease over 30 weeks and failed to in­ves­ti­gate or con­sider that the pa­tient might have can­cer due to his age and med­i­cal his­tory.

The pa­tient re­lo­cated from the NSW north coast to Queensland in early 2013 and con­sulted a dif­fer­ent doc­tor, where he was di­ag­nosed with lung can­cer with brain sec­on­daries. He died in mid-2013, aged 69.

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