Case study: failure to diagnose back fracture
Forty-year-old Norma has been left in constant pain and struggling with many physical activities due to a failure to diagnose a back fracture. Beth Reay, one of the medical law experts at Hospital Negligence took on Norma’s case and secured her £25,000 in compensation.
Accident in the kitchen
Norma’s troubles began when she fainted in her kitchen and fell on the floor. When she came round she could not move and had severe pain in her back. Eventually one of Norma’s children found her and called an ambulance.
Missed fracture following x-ray
When Norma arrived at hospital she was taken for an X-ray. She was later told that she had not broken or fractured anything and was told to go home and rest. Norma was in intense pain and was off work for two weeks. Her GP prescribed ibuprofen and Norma attended private physiotherapy sessions for three months. Despite this Norma’s pain did not get any better.
MRI finds a fracture
Norma continued to see her GP for pain relief and was referred for appointments with various consultants over the next five years as the pain in her back and joints continued. Eventually she underwent an MRI scan and when discussing treatment options it came to light that Norma had sustained a fracture to her back.
Norma was told that she could have a rod inserted into her back to improve her posture as her upper torso had started to curve into her lower abdomen. The consultant told Norma that he would not attempt to fix the fracture as although it had healed in an incorrect position, due to the development of Norma’s osteoporosis, surgery may cause damage to other vertebrae in her spine.
Curvature of the spine caused by the fracture
Norma says she was told that she was suffering curvature of her spine from the fracture and that it was the root cause of all her problems. Several treatment options were discussed with her and she opted to have physiotherapy, injections into her spine and pain management due to the risks associated with surgery.
Original x-ray found to have shown the fracture
Norma says after contacting the hospital she was told that the X-ray taken all those years ago has shown the fracture and had it been diagnosed she would have been able to undergo corrective treatment.
Constant pain and resultant effects
However now she walks with an awkward gait and although she has been able to hold down a full-time job she has been aged by the constant pain she is in and has missed out on holidays and has no social life. She was also gained weight because she is no longer able to walk very far and finds work a struggle.
After Norma contacted Hospital Negligence for advice the team investigated her case and took on her fight for justice. Beth Reay, one of our specialist solicitors, represented Norma and secured her £25,000 in compensation from the hospital trust for her pain and suffering.
We can help you claim if you have also suffered medical negligence
If you or a loved one has suffered permanent effects following medical negligence, contact Hospital Negligence today to find out if you can make a claim. Call us on 0800 014 7481, or fill in our contact form. Alternatively, read more about how we can help you.