I should have been told about oxygenation benefits, says cancer suffering patient

Hyperbaric oxygenation can remove complications if patients are made aware of its availability, a west of Ireland woman has claimed.

The woman who wishes to remain anonymous, said she hopes that the availability and benefit of this treatment will be highlighted to cancer patients like herself.

She said that additional surgery may not have been necessary if she had been made aware of the potential benefits of hyperbaric oxygenation.

“I had radiotherapy. My breast surgery had increased risks of wound complications. I ask how would you feel if you found out you were not told about a treatment with expected benefits, that was covered by your health insurance?” said the young mother of two.

“I was wrong to assume I was being given the full information. Hyperbaric oxygenation is used prior to and after the surgery but I was not told.

“In addition, Irish Life Health would have paid for my sessions of hyperbaric oxygenation at OxyGeneration, Merchants Road. It’s a win-win as the insurers save money.

“I realised however, that I was unrealistic to assume that my care team would give me balanced information about all treatment options. What’s realistic is to see that some medics must assume that they are right when they say they did not inform patients because there is no evidence of sufficient strength or quality to allow one to recommend hyperbaric oxygen or they must assume they are right if it’s not in their hospital’s guidelines.”

“However, in these scenarios, this practice must stop, because what they assumed to be right, was wrong,” she said.

“It is hard to describe my feelings. If I had hyperbaric oxygenation, it’s possible my complications would not have happened and there could have been no need for my reoperation for breast reconstruction,” she concluded.

 

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