Case Study: Broken Neck Misdiagnosis

Sarah, 77 years old

A woman has been awarded a large financial payout after doctors failed to diagnose a broken neck resulting in her being permanently paralysed.

77-year-old Sarah was crossing the road when she was hit by a vehicle. She was taken to the local A&E department very shocked and complaining of shoulder and neck pain. A number of X-rays were taking including one of the cervical spine (neck).

Most unfortunately, the neck X-ray did not extent far enough down the spine and the very area that was damaged was not shown (C6/7). A dislocated shoulder was diagnosed but the spine was considered to be intact.

Failure to diagnose

2 days later, Sarah suddenly lost all feeling in her legs and an urgent CT scan revealed a fractured and dislocated spine (a broken neck) with severe damage to the spinal cord rendering Sarah permanently paralysed from the chest down.

The neck was stabilised by surgery and Sarah then began a long and slow process of rehabilitation until she was eventually discharged home, a year after the initial accident.

Sarah can do nothing for herself and requires round the clock care, some of which is provided by her family. She has also developed dementia following the accident and generally has a very poor quality of life.

Expert representation from JMW

The hospital Trust did not attempt to defend the claim and Sally Leonards, one of the senior solicitors at JMW, negotiated a very large financial settlement for Sarah, the majority of which will pay for the care she will need for the rest of her life.

Have you also suffered a misdiagnosis?

If you feel you may have a claim, speak to an experienced solicitor today. Call JMW on 0800 054 6512 or fill in our contact form to find out more. 

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