Family sues doctors, Interior Health alleging negligence after Okanagan man dies | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Family sues doctors, Interior Health alleging negligence after Okanagan man dies

FILE PHOTO - Penticton Regional Hospital

The family of an Oliver man who died of cancer two months after his diagnosis is suing doctors, hospitals and the Interior Health Authority claiming negligence.

On July 24, 2018 Peter William Eyzenga, 62, visited the South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver due to extreme abdominal pain. He requested abdominal imaging and the doctor indicated in his report that a follow up would be required. He was sent home and told to purchase stool softener but no follow-up every happened, according to Supreme Court documents filed June 2, 2022 by Eyzenga’s family.

Eyzenga visited the emergency department at Penticton Regional Hospital July 28, 2018 with the same issue. A CT scan showed there was an irregular polypoid type soft-tissue attenuation and kidney stones. Surgery was performed to remove the stones but no follow-up was ever conducted for the polypoid, the lawsuit alleges.

On Aug. 2, 2018 he went to a clinic as a small blemish was discovered on his colon but the doctor was unsure if it was a small piece of food and said he would attach a note for Eyzenga’s doctor, who was away at the time, to follow up in a few weeks. No follow-up was conducted and no CT scan was ordered, though Eyzenga requested one to determine what the lesion was.

According to the civil suit, no follow-up was ever done by any of Eyzenga’s doctors to determine the status of the cercal polyp between July 28, 2018 to Jan. 14, 2020.

When Eyzenga was in Hawaii on March 30, 2020 he called the doctor’s office as he was experiencing fatigue, light headedness, dark urine and swollen ankles and knees. He made an appointment for April 1 to follow up with these symptoms.

The doctor told him the dark urine was likely due to dehydration and it wasn’t until months later on June 12, 2020 that the doctor called Eyzenga to tell him his CT results were in and his body was riddled with cancer, in his lungs, liver and colon. He was told he had three to six months to live, according to the lawsuit.

The doctor told him that due to kidney stones and the surgery which removed the stones in 2018, the dark blemish that was observed fell by the wayside.

In a meeting with an oncologist at the B.C. Cancer Clinic in Surrey, the doctor asked if anyone had spoken to them about the CT scan in 2018 as it was evident to her that cancer was visible in that CT scan and it should not have been missed, the lawsuit alleges.

Eyzenga died August 31, 2020. His family claims it was the responsibility of the doctors to properly diagnose Eyzenga and monitor him for further symptoms and determine the cause of his symptoms.

They claim it was also the responsibility of Interior Health to ensure the safety of its patients and should have monitored to ensure the competence of its employees in both hospital departments and the doctors that cared for Eyzenga.

Eyzenga’s death was caused or contributed to by the negligence of the doctors, hospitals and the health authority, and are seeking damages, the family alleges.

The family also claims the health authority failed to provide acceptable standards of nursing care, failed to hire qualified personnel, failed to put systems in place to flag repeated visits and failure to have adequate policies governing staff to ensure a responsible standard of medical care.

Interior Health declined to comment as the matter is before the courts. None of the allegations have been proven in court.


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