Jennifer Waight, specialist clinical negligence lawyer based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) offices, has secured £10,000 compensation for a women who required a total knee replacement after the fracture to her tibia, which had been undiagnosed, displaced.
The claimant was a 68 year old women who was walking her dog, when she was knocked to the ground by another walker’s dog. The dog hit her in her left knee and she was unable to get up. An ambulance was called and she was taken to Worthing Hospital in severe pain.
In A&E she was given morphine for her pain and taken for an x-ray. The x-ray was noted to have shown no fracture to the leg and they planned to mobilise the claimant with painkillers.
She was transferred to the CDU and after being given analgesia they attempted to get her to mobilise on the leg. She was very unstable and complained of feeling nauseous before vomiting. She was told to rest and they would re-attempt to mobilise her later.
A few hours later she was walked a short distance around the ward and was discharged home, despite remaining in a large amount of pain and being very distressed. She was given no painkillers to take at home.
Once at home the claimant was housebound and continued to have a great deal of pain. She had difficulty sleeping due to the pain and was unable to eat much, losing weight as a result. She had several appointments at her GP and was prescribed painkillers.
Nearly a month after her fall she received a call from the Worthing Hospital telling her that there had been a mistake and that in fact her knee was fractured. She re-attended that afternoon and her leg was re-x-rayed. This showed that the fracture had now displaced.
She was referred to the orthopaedic team that afternoon and it was noted that the x-ray from 4 weeks previous had show an undisplaced fracture and that during the 4 week delay in diagnosis was now a depressed fracture in the medial condyle. She was given a splint and told to go home.
She was called the next day and advised that she would need a total knee replacement and she would have an appointment for four weeks time. She spent a further month in severe pain.
The claimant’s pain was so great that she purchased an automatic car to enable her to still drive. The claimant decided to transfer over to the University College of London for the remainder of her care, as she had lost trust in Worthing Hospital. After months of delay she underwent her total knee replacement, 6 months after her initial fall.
Jennifer Waight acted for the claimant and was able to claim that Worthing Hospital had been negligent in their care of the claimant as the fracture had clearly been evident on the original scan.
She was able to obtain an out-of-court settlement of £10,000 to compensate the claimant for her pain and suffering, and to pay for any future treatment needs she may have.
Jennifer Waight specialises in orthopaedic cases. If you would like to ask Jennifer a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any clinical negligence, contact her on 01892 701374 in confidence.