A Claim Against St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust Failure to Diagnose a Scaphoid Injury
This case was settled in the sum of £75,000.00. In November 2010 C attended the St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust Accident & Emergency Department having suffered a right wrist/hand injury playing football. On examination tenderness was noted. X-rays were taken but the impression was that there was no fracture and that C had suffered a right wrist sprain. He was advised to rest, place ice on his wrist and take regular painkillers.
C continued to have symptoms and visited a Walk In Centre in June 2011 stating that he had continued to suffer symptoms since sustaining a right wrist injury 6 months previously. The Walk In Centre advised that he attend his G.P. in order to be referred on for an x-ray. The G.P. referred him for an x-ray and 2 weeks later the x-ray revealed serious scaphoid dislocation and C was referred on to a Hand Specialist. On further review of the x-rays taken at the time of the incident in November 2010 it was confirmed that the scaphoid injury was present at that time. The radiology had not been correctly interpreted.
C was advised that because of the delay treatment would be difficult and reconstructive surgery might not be favourable. Discussions were held with Consultant Surgeons and a plan was made for surgery. The surgery took place in December 2011. C was aware that the surgery might not correct the wrist after such a lengthy period of time. C was referred on to a hand specialist and the range of movement improved but there was still stiffness in the wrist and degenerative changes had occurred. Further surgery took place. The position now is that there is a high risk that C will require fusion surgery in the future.
An expert opinion in Emergency Medicine was obtained which was supportive of the case and an Orthopaedic Surgeon reported on the extent of the injury caused by the failures on the part of the Hospital Trust. The NHS Trust accepted that they were in breach of their duty to C however they did not accept the extent of the injury. C was treated at a different hospital to that which had failed to diagnose him. The records from that hospital clearly identified that there were degenerative changes in the wrist as a result of the delay and suffered financial losses. Litigation ensued but, settlement was agreed. The sum of £75,000.00 was agreed upon.
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