Mrs P has rheumatoid arthritis and had previously injured her left wrist. The wrist fracture moved, but this was not picked up until much later. As a result, she had to undergo surgery to correct this and pursued a successful clinical negligence case with Partner and Head of Clinical Negligence Ally Taft some years ago.
In 2018, Mrs P had a fall and was taken to hospital, where an x-ray confirmed that she had fractured her right wrist. She was put in a plaster cast. The next day, she underwent another x-ray and explained her medical history to the doctor and her concerns over this injury. She was reassured and discharged.
She returned to the hospital a week later and had another x-ray. No concerns were raised, despite the x-ray showing that the fracture had moved. The next week, Mrs P attended the hospital again as she was concerned about her wrist not healing and insisted on another x-ray. She was advised that the fracture had not moved, when in fact it had.
The following week, Mrs P attended the hospital and saw a different doctor who was furious with her outcome. A further x-ray was performed which confirmed that there was a gap in her bones and her arm was shortened as the bone had collapsed in. All of the x-rays that had been taken previously showed this.
She required surgery to correct her wrist, but the bones were soft due to the healing process and the operation could not be carried out for a year. During this time, she continued to suffer from severe pain and discomfort. Over a year after the accident, Mrs P underwent an operation to lengthen the arm and correct the fracture. Four months after the surgery, the gap in her bones had not closed.
A month later she underwent a major operation that involved removing the fractured bone and taking a bone graft from her hip. Carpal tunnel decompression also had to be performed, as Mrs P had developed carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of the injury.
Despite undergoing two operations, she remains restricted with the right arm and suffers from increased pain.
Had the movement in the fracture been identified and discussed with Mrs P when she first presented in hospital, she would have avoided the lengthy period of pain, the second operation, developing carpal tunnel syndrome and the subsequent ongoing pain and suffering.
Expert evidence obtained suggested that Mrs P wrist was in a worse position than it was at the time of the fracture, prior to any treatment.
Mrs P instructed Ally Taft for a second time and received £62,500 in compensation. The money will help pay for assistance for tasks that Mrs P now struggles with, and she has funds to pay for private surgery, if she decides to go ahead.
Following the case, Ally said: “I’m pleased that we were able to reach this outcome for Mrs P – the sum we secured will go some way in providing peace of mind for her. However, that doesn’t make up for the lack of concern from the hospital; much of this could have been avoided if the issues had been identified at the time.”
Following the case, Mrs P said: “It’s not been easy as they dug their heels in. When we had the letter denying liability, I thought I wouldn’t get anything. I would have been happy with £20,000 and am shocked at the level of settlement. You have been absolutely wonderful, I can’t praise you enough.”