Man Reveals Determination To Look To The Future After Medical Negligence Case Concludes Allowing Him To Access Specialist Treatment
A former lift engineer who suffered life-changing hand injuries after being incorrectly discharged from hospital has spoken of his determination to look to the future.
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 28-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 town, 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. He spent a number of days in hospital and was discharged on Christmas Day.
Jamie now has around 10 to 20 per cent function in his right hand, considerably less than he would have if it wasn't for the issues in his care. He struggles to grip tools and has had to change job.
Medical negligence lawyers help lift engineer access rehabilitation
He instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his care under University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
The Trust admitted liability and apologised to Jamie for the mistakes in his care.
Three years on, Jamie has now spoken of his determination to look to the future and enjoy Christmas. It comes after his legal team at Irwin Mitchell secured an undisclosed settlement to fund the ongoing specialist rehabilitation and treatment he requires for his injuries.
Expert Opinion“The last few years and trying to come to terms with how his injuries have impacted upon Jamie’s life have been incredibly difficult for him.
“He has vastly reduced function in his right hand – his dominant hand – meaning not only has he been forced to give up the job he loved but also struggles to carry out tasks most people take for granted.
“While nothing can make up for what he has been through we welcome the Trust’s admission and apology, allowing Jamie to access the specialist support he requires.
“However, it’s also vital that lessons are learned to improve patient safety for others.” Jennifer Shipley - Associate Solicitor
Medical negligence: Jamie Keefe's story
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. He was allowed home on Christmas Day 2018.
Despite the treatment and a number of therapy sessions, Jamie has continued to suffer with stiffness and extensive scarring to his hand. The problems meant he had to change job, as he was unable to use heavy tools and equipment.
Birmingham Hospital Trust admit failing to recognise severity of injury
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.
Jamie has been forced to retrain as an electrical engineer due to his loss of hand function. He has recently bought his first house and is looking forward to moving on and trying to put what happened behind him now that his case has concluded.
Jamie's hope for the future after legal case concludes
He said: “My hand was in a mess so I was extremely shocked when I was sent home from hospital with a follow up appointment.
“When I was at home my hand didn’t seem to be improving and was in a really bad way so I thought it was best to seek another opinion. I couldn’t believe it when I was told the true extent of my injuries and what needed to be done.
“It was difficult being in hospital in the lead up to Christmas. When everyone else was getting on with life and enjoying themselves I was worrying about my hand and the future.
“The hardest thing to try and accept is how life has changed. Even simple things like trying to fasten a button on a shirt or a zip on a coat are really difficult.
“I know nothing can ever make up for what’s happened and the last few years but it’s reassuring that I can continue with my recovery. It means that I can try and look to the future rather than dwell on the past. It means that Christmas will be a lot better this year.
“However, by speaking out I just hope that others don’t have to go through what I have.”