A vast majority of patients who are
admittedto A&E are usually there with an injury from some sort of trauma.
In these cases, Doctors have two diagnoses to consider; whether it be Soft tissue injury (bruising, sprain, ligament damage, tendon damage or a fracture.
When a fracture is suspected, an x-ray should be taken. Claims can arise when a doctor has not properly examined a patient and concludes that they have sustained a soft tissue injury without sending them for an x-ray.
Claims can also arise when an x-ray is not examined properly, a fracture is missed or misreported or the patient is not called back for review of the radiology.
How do I know if I have a claim?
Anyone considering making a claim should, be aware that it is not always possible to detect a fracture on an x-ray. Subtle hairline fractures of very small bones can be difficult to detect. There are also areas of the body where x-rays do not always produce clear images. In addition, bruising and swelling can also cloud an x-ray, making it difficult to interpret accurately.
However, that does not always make it acceptable and it may be that the doctor should have asked you to come back in within 7 to 14 days for another x-ray or to check for any possible complications.
The effects of a misdiagnosed fracture can range from a few additional weeks of pain to a complete failure of the bone to heal (unite). A broken bone left untreated can also restrict the blood supply to local tissue and if a muscle is not supplied with blood carrying oxygen, it will become damaged and start to die. This is called Avascular Necrosis. Or, missed diagnosis of a fracture can cause the bone to degenerate or osteoarthritis to develop. If you have suffered a fracture to your spine which has gone undiagnosed, this could lead to nerve damage, or possible paralysis.
If you have suffered a significantly worse outcome as a result of a missed diagnosis, you should consider a claim in clinical negligence and consult an appropriately experienced solicitor.
At Treadstone Law, we acted on behalf of a 20 year old man who had sustained an injury to his wrist. He attended the A & E department at Wythenshawe Hospital. An x-ray was taken of the wrist and our client was told that he had sustained soft tissue injuries.
Our client continued to suffer from swelling and deformity to the wrist. He was re-called to hospital a few weeks later when the x-ray was reviewed again and the wrist was found to be fractured.
We were then instructed to act of this client’s behalf and we successfully negotiated a settlement and an apology from the NHS trust. Our client received £5000 in damages.
If you believe you have a claim after a misdiagnosis you should contact a member of our medical negligence team for a free no obligation consultation. If we decide to take on your case we work on a NO WIN NO FEE basis.
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