Failings’ With Routine Procedures Leave 11-year-old Facing Double Hip Replacement Operation In Later Life
The parents of an 11-year-old boy who faces major hip surgery and a lifetime of painful physiotherapy have demanded improvements in care after an NHS Trust admitted failings in the way his genetic hip condition was treated as a young child.
Hayden Aspin was born at the Royal Oldham Hospital in November 1998 where, following a normal birth, a routine test revealed that both his hips were out of alignment and could be dislocated easily.
But despite undergoing numerous painful procedures and 10 years of further treatment, including a full body splint, the 11-year-old has been left with a pronounced limp, one leg shorter than the other and now faces a double hip replacement operation in later life.
After a legal battle brought through medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office, Hayden’s parents have urged the Trust learns vital lessons from their son’s ongoing ordeal to prevent other children being affected in the future.
And his mum and dad, Lara and David, from Middleton, Manchester also urged other parents to seek further help if they were worried about their child’s medical treatment as they admitted their frustration at the hospital’s failure to resolve Hayden’s medical problems.
After being diagnosed with bilateral dislocatable hips at birth Hayden was initially put into a Pavlik harness to stabilise the hips, but when that proved unsuccessful, he was instead fitted with a splint.
Hayden was left in the splint for several weeks but his mum became concerned about the treatment and an ultrasound revealed that the hips were in a dislocated position and being held out of alignment.
Since then, Hayden has had to undergo surgery on numerous occasions but has been left with one leg 2cm shorter than the other as well as avascular necrosis, which is a loss of blood supply causing tissue death.
His parents have been told their son – recently voted Pupil at the Year at his primary school –could suffer increased pain, stiffness and further shortening of his leg in the future, with additional surgery scheduled next year to lengthen his leg and Hayden needing a double hip replacement as well when he gets older to try and finally resolve the problem.
Mum Lara said: “We knew that the treatment to correct the alignment of Hayden’s hips didn’t seem to be working and it was only when we pushed for more information that we found out that they were in fact still out of place.
“By not treating it properly when he was very young, vital time was lost. Consequently we now have to wait for a double hip replacement when he is older for him to live a normal life,” she added, urging other parents with concerns over their child’s treatment to demand further checks as soon as possible.
“Nobody knows your own child like you do so it is vital that you follow your gut instinct when you think something is wrong,” said Lara.
Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has now agreed an out of court settlement , admitting some failings in the management of Hayden’s injuries, though the total value of any settlement to fund the schoolboy’s future care needs cannot be decided until he reaches skeletal maturity in approximately five years time, when the impact of his injuries can be fully assessed.
The family’s solicitor, Maria Repanos, a clinical negligence specialist at Irwin Mitchell in Manchester, said: “The settlement will eventually assist Hayden with any treatment or aids and equipment he will require to make his life as normal as possible.
“We do hope that the Trust will learn from this case in order to ensure that no other family has to go through what the Aspins have over the last 11 years.
“Early treatment is vital when babies suffer from bilateral dislocatable hips, and an appropriate treatment regime can make a significant difference between acute and a lifetime of pain and unnecessary procedures. Mistakes such as this change lives and affect the entire family, and we want to ensure that this does happen again,” she added.
Mum Lara added: “For us, it is simply a case of damage limitation until Hayden is old enough to undergo surgery for two new hips as an adult.
“It has been frustrating for us all to watch his delayed development over the years. While other toddlers were running around, Hayden was still crawling and could not play football with his friends in the normal way.
“But he has not let his condition get him down and is intelligent and funny. He has won Pupil of the Year at his school and has just passed an exam to enable him attend Hulme Grammar School this September. We are all extremely proud of him” she added.