Case study: negligent removal of thumb splinter
When a large splinter became lodged in Daniel’s thumb as he was chopping wood he presumed the hospital would be able to extract it with a straightforward procedure. However the surgeon failed to remove the splinter during the operation and stitched Daniel’s hand up with it still in place. The specialist solicitors at Hospital Negligence secured Daniel £5,000 in compensation for the problems this caused him.
Splinter could not be removed
After the splinter had entered Daniel’s thumb he originally tried to remove it himself but without success. The splinter was visible underneath the skin of Daniel’s thumb and he was unable to flex it so later that night he sought help at his local A&E.
The doctor who examined Daniel tried to remove the splinter under a local anaesthetic but could not do so. He told Daniel he would need to come back as an outpatient for an ultrasound to check the splinter’s exact position. Daniel was discharged with the splinter still in place which he found very uncomfortable and was restricting his use of the thumb.
A couple of days later Daniel was seen at the hospital’s fracture clinic and X-Rays of his thumb were taken. A doctor told him the X-Rays did not show the splinter but that he could clearly feel it and that he would need to undergo surgery to remove it.
The next day Daniel was admitted for the operation to remove the splinter under a general anaesthetic. However when he came round he was informed that the splinter had not been found. Daniel’s thumb was bandaged and he was sent home with advice to return to hospital in a week’s time to be reviewed.
Daniel was very surprised that the surgeon had not been able to remove the splinter as it was very easy to feel under his skin. The thumb remained painful and Daniel struggled to use it.
Daniel struggled on and over coming weeks had three reviews of his thumb. However it was more than four weeks after his original operation that revision surgery was done which saw the splinter removed easily and quickly in about five minutes.
Daniel was frustrated by the failure of the original surgeon to find and remove the splinter. It had not only caused him to struggle to carry out his work duties for several weeks but had also lead to an unnecessary second operation under a general anaesthetic. The scar from the first operation was also much larger and more unsightly than the one from the second and Daniel continues to feel self-conscious about it.
After contacting the medical law experts at Hospital Negligence for advice Daniel’s case was taken on by Katie Nolan who found several failures by the surgeon who carried out the first operation. Katie was successful on obtaining a compensation settlement of £5,000 for Daniel for the suffering these failures had caused him.
*Name changed to protect identity
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