Award after delayed diagnosis of fracture leads to amputation

Award after delayed diagnosis of fracture leads to amputation

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Negligent Amputation Case Study

Roger suffered a fall which resulted in an injury to his left leg. He initially believed he had suffered a sprain, but because the pain did not resolve he requested advice from his GP Practice.

Roger’s GP sent him to the accident and emergency department of his local hospital where an x-ray of his leg revealed a fracture. He was then referred to the fracture clinic where the x-ray was reviewed. Despite what he had been told previously, Roger was informed that there was no fracture and that the injury was no more than soft tissue damage. Roger was given an ankle brace and sent home.

Roger’s symptoms continued and an MRI scan was subsequently undertaken two months later which demonstrated misalignment of the bones in Roger’s leg, and further x-rays revealed the previously noted fracture.

Roger was referred for corrective surgery where an external frame was pinned into place, however, this operation was not carried out until another four months later.  Unfortunately, Roger suffered from a number of pin site infections which meant that further surgery had to be undertaken the following year. Despite these operations, Roger continued to experience significant pain, recurring infections, and also non-union of the fracture site.

Three years later further surgery was planned, however, this had to be cancelled when it was discovered that the bone was severely infected. This left Roger with no choice but to undergo an amputation of his left leg. After the surgery he was fitted with a prosthetic limb.

As a consequence of his injury and subsequent amputation Roger was left with significant care requirements and the need for an adapted home. He also developed a depressive disorder.

The NHS Litigation Authority admitted that Roger’s fracture should have been identified during his first hospital attendance and with the appropriate treatment, his fracture would have healed within a period of 3-6 months. Roger’s solicitor, Phil Barnes at Access Legal a leading expert in clinical negligence, successfully settled Roger’s case.  An award was obtained for his loss and the lifetime of aids and equipment he would require to enable him to carry out his normal daily activities.

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