Thousands of people every year have accidents which result in being taken to Accident and Emergency. These accidents can range from a simple trip in the street to a major road traffic accident. And when the patient attends the Accident and Emergency, they would expect a correct diagnosis of the injury or injuries that they have suffered will be made by the treating clinician, however on many occasions the diagnosis will be wrong. And as a result, every year many thousands of claims are made as a consequence of the wrong diagnosis being made in A&E last year over 1300 such claims were settled and over 1100 new claims were brought.
Typically, many of these claims will be in relation to a misdiagnosis such as there has been a failure to diagnose a fracture initially and then sometimes many months later the fracture is then diagnosed and by which time it is often too late.
How Fracture Misdiagnosis Can Occur
One such example of a typical case involving a missed fracture is this, a patient trips over in the street and in an attempt to break their fall they put the hand out to break their fall and as a result of which they fall onto their hand causing there wrist to go backwards. Following the fall, and more than likely the following day, the patient then starts to experience pain, swelling, and a limited range of movement in the wrist and as a result they attend the A&E.
The patient will then be treated by a nurse or a doctor who will examine the patient and ask the patient as to how the accident occurred and may then arrange for an Xray to take place or may simply discharge the patient with advice. After the patient is discharged the patient continues to suffer with pain in the wrist but carries until such point that they cannot stand the pain anymore and attends their GP a couple of months later who refers them for an Xray.
The patient then attends the hospital for the Xray to be performed whereupon the patient is advised that they have a scaphoid fracture which occurred three months earlier and was missed when the patient attended A&E. And because of the delay in the fracture being diagnosed the patient is now going to suffer long term health consequence which could have been avoided had the fracture been diagnosed when they first A&E.
However in the example provided if the treating clinician examines the patient and the patient is found to have pain, swelling and loss of mobility and the patient tells the treating clinician that they have fallen onto their outstretched hand and if the treating clinician doesn’t Xray the patients wrist, put the patients wrist in a temporary cast and arrange and appointment at the fracture clinic and simply discharges the patient with advice then the treating clinician on that occasion will have provided substandard or negligent treatment.
How Mark Reynolds Can Help
The above is just one example of a fracture misdiagnosis and they can also be found in relation to other parts of the body, such as the arm, leg, arm etc.
At Mark Reynolds solicitors we have a number of clients whom we are acting on behalf of in relation to situations were there has been a failure to diagnose a fracture and the client has suffered long term health consequences as a result of the failure to diagnose a fracture.
So, if you have suffered a fracture which was not initially diagnosed and you have then go onto suffer long term consequences not diagnosing the fracture in time then you may have a medical negligence claim. Contact us today for a no obligation chat with one of our team to found out if you do have a claim.