Newspaper headlines that GPs should be named and shamed for missing cancer, what about naming and shaming for missing GCA?

Just for example, a man known to me of 67yrs who rarely visited his GP was not even offered a blood test and was sent away as though he was a time waster. He lost eye sight, thankfully recoverable, but after paying in all his life to NHS costs, was forced to see a GP privately for blood tests which revealed massively elevated CRP which necessitated a referral to a hospital consultant, all at considerable personal financial cost. He does unpaid and valuable work for many voluntary groups and would have been a huge loss to the community had he become blind (never mind his own personal circumstances).

8 Replies

  • GP's don't often see GCA - the word should be rarely - and I wouldn't expect my GP to be an expert on the millions of conditions tramping round the world today, far from it. It simply wouldn't be humanly possible.

    You could probably post this on a hundred different communities with just the medical details altered.....

    So your point is?

  • My point is it only takes 5 minutes to look it up online and my illness was mismanaged by a GP for 6 months causing 6 months of serious worry, sleepless nights with headaches and discomfort when I moved my hips, and a deterioration of my eye-sight, then tried to do a cover up. Ignorance is no excuse under the law. Patients have rights. You are not trying to excuse appalling treatment are you Polkadotcom?

  • Have you only partial vision left, Wendy?

  • In my left eye, I have an anterior subcapsular cataract which causes an astigmatism. Because my left eye is dominant, my sight is worse than it would be otherwise. I did make a post about the esoteric nature of opthalmology and how difficult it is to receive straight forward information in laymans terms from opthalmic professionals. Either they want to sell me a pair of glasses (opticians) or dismiss me as being a time waster because I don't have a an eye which is hanging out of its socket (A & E local hosp opthalmology dept). I had classic headache and jaw symptoms of GCA but my GP insisted I only had PMR. I had an overnight deterioration in my sight (confirmed by my Optometrist) at 7.5mg. I was on a 2.5mg per fortnight reduction, when I got to 5mg, On my first visit to the local hospital A & E Opthalmology dept, I waited 4 hours. The triarge nurse said they knew all about GCA and I cried with relief. I hoped to get a referral to a specialist. When I was seen by the man who referred to himself as 'only an eye doctor', I was asked if I had a headache, there and then, at that moment. I said 'no'. He did a quick examination and said I had better eye-sight than he did! He gave me a long speil about I could have an operation for the cataracts but he didn't recommend it for a couple of years - I said I did not come requesting advice, I came to try to get a referral because I had GCA and was afraid I would lose further eye-sight. He discharged me saying my eyes were 'normal'.

  • Was the cataract caused by Pred or by PMR or GCA?

  • How would I know? My local optician has one agenda - to sell me new glasses (I needed a pair for reading, a pair for computer and a pair for driving - I had never needed glasses for driving in the past and find, despite buying a large screen TV, I still need glasses to read the subtitled). The local hospital A & E eye dept is like something out of the third world. Patients with typical symptoms but undiagnosed GCA on 2.5mg of prednisone do not get a referral to a consultant.

  • Could it have been caused by the one process none of us can avoid? It's known as Getting Older. I just have bifocals, they seem to cater for all my needs especially since I reached the stage above middle-age.

  • Significant sight loss overnight - the need for lenses for driving which were never needed before and increased magnification required for reading? This was likely to have been a stroke caused by the blood vessels and the base of the back of the head becoming sticky and blocked and this vasculitis can occur with GCA and I had very bad headaches and was on a very low dose of steroids. An explanation I was given by the second A & E walk in clinic opthalmologist which was arranged by a consultant physician to establish a base-line to see if my eye sight deteriorates beyond this point. I think assumptions are not helpful Polkadotcom. I would hardly be making a very serious complaint if my eye sight loss was just caused by normal the normal aging process.

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