Margaret Ryan, from the Medical Law and Patients’ Rights team in Leeds, has helped secure £16,500 in compensation for a man whose broken wrist remained undiagnosed for over eight months.
Daniel was playing football, and was in goal when he went to make a save. The force of the ball bent Daniel’s right hand backwards causing him to injure his wrist.
Later the same day, Daniel’s wrist had not improved, so he attended the Accident and Emergency department of St James’ Hospital in Leeds. As part of the examination Daniel was asked to perform various hand movements and he was diagnosed with a sprained right wrist. Daniel was told he did not require an x-ray and he was simply advised to go home, rest his wrist and take paracetamol.
Daniel’s continued suffer from pain in his right and, whilst the bruising subsided over time, the swelling remained. Eight months later Daniel visited his GP as his hand was still causing him significant pain, and he was referred for an x-ray at Wharfedale Hospital. The x-ray showed Daniel was suffering from a fractured scaphoid bone and some displacement, which related back to his footballing injury.
Daniel underwent surgery on his fractured scaphoid bone to fix it with a screw, and he required physiotherapy treatment for his wrist and suffered permanent limited flexion in the wrist and reduced grip strength.
It was claimed that if Daniel had received an x-ray when he originally attended Accident and Emergency, the fractured bone would have been diagnosed, and his wrist would have been put in a cast immediately. The fracture would therefore have united successfully and Daniel would not have required surgery, he could also have avoided eight months of pain and suffering.
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