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Father of Four Given Wrong MRI Brain Scans–Unsure if Brain Condition is Improving

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United Kingdom—Leonard Beaufoy, a father of four, underwent brain surgery to treat an aneurysm after doctors told him of the brain condition four years ago. Every year since the surgery he has returned for regular MRI scans of his brain to make sure the problem hasn’t returned. However, after receiving an “all-clear” last year after a May 11 appointment, he discovered that the hospital had actually given him the wrong brain scans.

Mr. Beaufoy was originally diagnosed with the brain condition after his doctors discovered a cluster of 27 veins in a ball in his head. The doctors warned him that he required gamma knife surgery because the veins were liable to burst without treatment, causing hemorrhaging and even death. Mr. Beaufoy had the surgery in 2006 at Barts Hospital in London to seal the veins and has had subsequent regular checkups each year to see if the cluster is shrinking.

On May 11 last year he went to Colchester General Hospital for his annual MRI scan. After the scan was complete, doctors gave him his brain scans to take to a consulting doctor at the Royal London Hospital. However, the doctor at the Royal London Hospital gave him the “all clear” and told him to keep the scans as a memento of the fact that his cluster seemed to be shrinking. However, just a few days Mr. Beaufoy and a friend were watching television at his home and a show came on about aneurysms. Mr. Beaufoy told his friend about his recent scans, and told his friend to go look at them. When Mr. Beaufoy’s friend looked at the scans he realized that they were not of his Mr. Beaufoy’s head. Instead, they were of another man’s head: even though the outside folder was labeled with Mr. Beaufoy’s name, the inside scans were labeled with someone else’s name. Mr. Beaufoy immediately contacted his doctor at the Colchester General Hospital and he has since received a letter of apology from the hospital. However, Mr. Beaufoy wants another MRI scan as soon as possible to ensure that his health is improving. Nevertheless, the hospital has not taken action to schedule another appointment for Mr. Beaufoy to have another MRI scan for this year and instead has “launched an investigation”.