Case Study: Failure to Diagnose Scaphoid Fracture

Compensation: £80,000

Mary, Lancaster

JMW has helped a woman secure £80,000 compensation after doctors did not carry out an x-ray on her fractured wrist.

Mary, 31, was left with on-going pain and limited movement in her wrist, limiting her ability to work and undertake everyday tasks, after doctors failed to realise she has sustained a scaphoid fracture.

After Mary contacted the specialist solicitors at JMW for advice, a successful case was brought against the hospital trust responsible and Mary was awarded £80,000 in compensation.

Failure to examine

Mary injured her wrist one afternoon after falling in her home and after the pain had not subsided by that night she attended the accident and emergency department of her local hospital. Mary’s right wrist was painful, swollen and bruised. 

Mary was initially assessed by a triage nurse in the early hours of the morning and later by a doctor who noted the swelling and tenderness in her wrist. However during the consultation, the doctor failed to carry out a specific examination of Mary’s right scaphoid (a bone in the wrist between the hand and the forearm on the thumb side). This was despite the fact that there were signs that she could have sustained an injury to this bone. 

Mary was discharged and told to return to hospital later that morning to have X-Rays of her wrist taken.

No follow-up

Mary returned for the X-Rays as instructed, however, no scaphoid view X-Rays were taken. She was assessed by a different doctor who did not examine her wrist. He made a diagnosis of soft tissue damage and discharged Mary with pain relief and with no plans for follow-up treatment or consultations.

A few months later Mary attended her own GP due to the on-going pain she was suffering. An X-Ray was arranged which showed that she has sustained a scaphoid fracture and this was the cause of her pain.

Two months later Mary underwent surgery under a general anaesthetic to try to repair the fracture by inserting a screw. Mary then had to undergo two further operations to remove the screw and try to unite the fracture but this was never achieved because of the length of time that it had gone untreated for due to the misdiagnosis. 

JMW investigates

Mary was unhappy with the care that she had received at the time of her injury and suspected that mistakes had been made that had caused lasting damage. She contacted the specialist solicitors at JMW and her case for advice. Mary’s case was taken on by

Angharad Hughes, one of our lawyers, who investigated and found several failings. These included failing to pay adequate regard to Mary’s symptoms, failing to consider the possibility of a scaphoid fracture, failing to carry out adequate examinations and failing to request scaphoid view X-Rays. 

Compensation

JMW was successful in securing Mary £80,000 to help her cope with the financial aspects of the permanent scaphoid injury she sustained due to the negligence she faced. 

Have you also suffered a failed diagnosis?

If you or someone you know has suffered in a similar way to Mary, please do not hesitate to give us a call to discuss the situation and to see whether you could be entitled to compensation. Ring us today on 0800 054 6512, or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our friendly team will get in touch with you. 

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