Misdiagnosed X-ray Compensation Claim
Levenes Solicitors have obtained a settlement for their client from Whipps Cross Hospital after they negligently failed to treat an ankle fracture.
Our client was out running in the park when he fell and twisted his ankle. It was an unfortunate accident but then what followed made things worse. Our client was close to the hospital and so his friends took him there. He was seen and examined in the A&E department and then sent for X-ray.
When the XR result came back, our client was told that there was no fracture and that his injury was no more serious than a sprain. He was advised that it would heal quickly, and he was sent home.
Over the next few weeks, he was walking on his injured foot, believing what he had been told in the hospital, but his pain did not improve – it got worse. He flew to Poland and saw a consultant there and had an X-ray and was told immediately that there was a fracture.
He came back to the UK and saw his GP who then referred him to a different hospital for further X-rays and a scan.
Our client made a complaint to the hospital about his treatment and at the same time we applied for his records.
Curiously, the original radiology report was in the records, stating that there was no fracture, along with an addendum from a new radiologist, stating that there was a fracture.
This was the crucial evidence – not only was it the case that the new X-ray done in Poland showed the fracture, but the fracture was there to be seen on the original X-ray all along, you just had to look properly for it.
We instructed our own experts to review the medical records and an expert in Accident and Emergency Medicine agreed that the X-ray was visible and criticized the failure of the original doctor to do a proper examination.
Errors in interpreting X-rays and scans
The effect of the original failure to spot the fracture had serious consequences for our client. If you have a fractured ankle and walk on it for a few weeks, without the fracture being treated correctly, the fracture will start to heal. This is what happened here, but the broken bones were not aligned correctly.
By the time this was spotted, it was not possible to turn back the clock. X-rays are vitally important in the diagnosis of injuries. There is window of time after a fracture when, if the fracture is treated correctly, there should be a good recovery. In the case of our client, he had to have a further operation which was to fuse his ankle, because he was getting so much pain in his ankle because of the fracture having healed in misalignment. If the fracture had been diagnosed at the time, our client would have been in plaster for 6-8 weeks and probably would have been fully recovered in about 4-6 months.
Complications of Surgery
If that was not bad enough our client had to have surgery to fuse his ankle joint, things got worse because during the surgery to fuse the ankle, damage was done to nerves in his foot and from then on, he began to experience neuropathic pain. The nerve damage was not the fault of the surgeons who operated on his ankle. All surgery has some risk to it and sometimes nerves can be damaged during surgery without any fault on the part of the surgeon. The fact remained that our client only needed surgery because of the original misdiagnosis.
Neuropathic pain is pain caused by damage to nerves and is quite different to pain from a fracture or sprain. The pain is often likened to bolts of electricity passing through the body. It is very intrusive and difficult to treat.
Levenes Solicitors put forward a claim against the hospital. Unsurprisingly, since the hospital’s own radiologist had spotted the original mistake, the hospital admitted liability.
Expert reports were obtained concerning treatment options and the claim was then quantified.
Our client had lost his job after the accident but was able to get a new job and this helped him to cope with the pain. The brain copes with pain better when it is distracted.
His settlement was concluded for an amount covering Pain and Suffering, Loss of Earnings and Medical treatment costs.
Failure to correctly diagnose a medical problem can lead to crucial delays in getting the right treatment and complications that cannot then be corrected. This can expose the patient to further risks of things going wrong. This can result in both physical and mental suffering that would have been avoided if the hospital had not been negligent.
If you believe that you have been the victim of hospital negligence resulting in a crucial delay to your treatment, leaving you with significant ongoing medical problems which could have been avoided, then please contact us and one of our specialist solicitors will be able to advise you about making a claim.
Legal help for serious injury
Our specialised lawyers can help accident victims recover their compensation. You will need expert advice on what actions can be taken to obtain accident compensation. You can trust the experience and expertise of our team of professional serious injury solicitors to win the maximum amount you are entitled to.