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Case Study: Missed Foot Fracture - Negligent Treatment
With JMW's help, a young woman has been awarded £5,000 compensation doctors missed a fracture in her foot, causing numerous complications.
Carol fell down the stairs at home and injured her foot one morning. After two days the foot was still painful, so she attended the local A&E department. She told doctors that she had osteoporosis and they took an x-ray of the foot, but no injury was found. Carol was advised to rest, ice, compress and elevate the foot, and then she was discharged.
Returning to her GP
Carol still found the foot to be painful and difficult to walk on, so she went to her GP on a couple of occasions and even returned to the A&E department after a month, where a further X-ray was taken. The radiologist found two fractures that were displaced. Carol was instructed not to put any weight on the foot, and to return to the fracture clinic for further assessment.
When Carol attended the fracture clinic two weeks later, she was told that she could begin to walk on the foot with an arch support in her shoe. After another review a month later, an X-ray confirmed that the fracture had healed satisfactorily. Although Carol told doctors that she was still experiencing pain and swelling in the foot, the notes record "no pain around the fracture site. Walking comfortably without difficulty".
The impact of negligent treatment
Carol feels that she had to suffer three months of intense pain and a restricted lifestyle because the foot fracture was not diagnosed at A&E. She also has an increased risk of developing arthritis in the foot in the future.
All hospitals should have a policy where all X-rays taken in the A&E department are reviewed by a senior doctor within a few days. If a fracture has been missed, the patient is recalled for appropriate treatment.
A supportive report from an orthopaedic expert instructed by JMW was obtained and Carol received £5,000 compensation from the hospital.
Have you also suffered a missed diagnosis of an injury?
If you have suffered similar injuries due to the negligent treatment of a foot injury, contact us on 0345 872 6666 or fill in our contact form and someone will be in touch to advise on how much compensation you may be entitled to.