Clinical Negligence

Hospital misdiagnoses fractured ankle

Mrs D suffered an injury to her ankle after a fall. She was taken to Tunbridge Wells Hospital where an x-ray was carried out. Unfortunately, the results were unclear and a second x-ray was taken. The radiologist confirmed that Mrs D had fractured her ankle.

When Mrs D was transferred back to A&E, they disregarded the radiologist’s diagnosis and said that Mrs D had only suffered a dislocation. The doctor proceeded to treat Mrs D for a dislocation, carrying out a manipulation of the ankle without any gas and air. This was excruciating for Mrs D. She was then discharged with a course of painkillers and crutches.

Mrs D attended the fracture clinic 3 days later for a follow up appointment. The clinic confirmed that it was in fact a fracture that Mrs D had suffered, and not a dislocation. Mrs D had to undergo further manipulation of her ankle and internal fixation under general anaesthetic.

Mrs D complained to the hospital about the misdiagnosis she had received, and subsequent treatment. The NHS Trust admitted that they had breached their duty of care to Mrs D, but argued that the delay in diagnosis did not have a long-term detrimental effect.

Our specialist clinical negligence lawyers acting for Mrs D instructed a consultant orthopaedic surgeon to get an expert view on the matter. The expert concluded that the delay in appropriate treatment could cause additional soft tissue injury and additional pain and suffering for Mrs D, but did not affect her overall recovery.

In light of the medical evidence, the team were able to successfully secure an out-of-court settlement of £1,500, to compensate Mrs D for the unnecessary and prolonged pain and suffering she had to endure.

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