Man Calls For Lessons To Be Learned After Hospital Trust Admits Liability
An engineer has called for lessons to be learned after he suffered avoidable and life changing injuries to his hand when he was incorrectly sent home from hospital following a work accident.
Jamie Keefe sustained a crushing injury, puncture wounds and a deep cut to his right hand when it slipped into a machine at work.
The 26-year-old was sent home from Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham with an appointment to attend the fracture clinic when staff “failed to recognise the severity” of his injury, hospital bosses admitted.
Around a week later Jamie, of Dudley, attended another hospital appointment and underwent a procedure to remove dead tissue from his hand with a skin graft taken from his thigh to replace the tissue.
Jamie, who now struggles to grip tools and has had to change his job, instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his care under University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
Jamie’s legal team secured an admission of liability from The Trust.
Expert Opinion“Jamie remains frustrated by the standard of care he received after suffering this awful injury which has gone on to impact on his life.
“Patients place a huge amount of trust in medical experts and always expect that a quality standard of care will be provided. Sadly this did not happen in Jamie’s case.
“While nothing will change what has happened we welcome the admission of liability.
“We will now continue to support Jamie so he can access the ongoing support he needs to maximise his recovery.
“It is also important that the Trust learns lessons to improve patient care.” Jennifer Shipley - Associate Solicitor
Jamie attended Heartlands Hospital on 11 December, 2018. After his wound was washed out and partially stitched up, he was sent home with antibiotics and booked in for a follow-up review at the fracture clinic three days later.
Concerned by his care Jamie called the 111 service for support and attended Queen Elizabeth Hospital on 17 December.
Jamie was admitted after staff discovered that he had a significant patch of dead tissue across his hand. He underwent surgery the following day and was put on antibiotics. On 20 December, he then had a skin graft taken from his thigh.
Despite the treatment and a number of therapy sessions, Jamie has continued to suffer with stiffness and extensive scarring on the hand. The problems meant he has had to change jobs, as he is unable to use heavy tools and equipment.
The Trust admitted that it “failed to recognise the severity” of Jamie’s injury when he attended hospital on 11 December.
It acknowledged that washing out and partially closing the wound should not have been performed. Instead Jamie should have been admitted as an inpatient and received intravenous antibiotics and had any affected tissue removed.
His injury should have been escalated for senior review, the Trust also said.
Discussing what happened, Jamie said: “Suffering the injury was absolutely horrendous but when I was sent home from hospital on the same day I was surprised.
“My hand remained in a really bad way and seemed to be getting worse. It got to the point where I knew I needed to get another opinion.
“When the doctors at Queen Elizabeth Hospital told me the extent of what needed to be done I couldn’t believe it. I was angry that it took nearly a week to get the treatment that I needed.
“Nothing will change what I’ve been through, but I just hope that the NHS can learn lessons so that no one else faces the problems that I have.”
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