A student who was left with avoidable pain after medics failed to identify a fracture to his right hand – causing a surgical delay – has settled his medical negligence claim against the defendant trust.
Timeline of events
Joe, who was aged 21 at the time, attended the defendant hospital’s trauma and emergency centre at 4.07pm after he had punched a brick wall with both his hands a couple of hours earlier.
X-rays revealed he had partially dislocated his thumb and fractured his little finger. As a result, Joe’s hand was dressed and bandaged, and he was given antibiotics for seven days, before being discharged and advised to rest and elevate his hand.
The following day, Joe attended the plastic surgery clinic, where his fingers were taped together. His notes state that his friend had to help him eat and get dressed as he was unable to use his hands. Joe also reported feeling lightheaded and nauseous.
A couple of weeks later, Joe had a telephone physiotherapy review, where a small bony growth in the left hand and further dislocation in the radial sagittal band when making a fist were documented. It was noted that a medical review was required.
One week later, Joe underwent a CT scan of his right hand, which found the fifth carpometacarpal joint on his right hand was fractured. A day later, he had operative surgery.
How our team helped
Natalizia Capizzi, our clinical negligence Associate, has helped Joe throughout his claim.
We sent a letter of claim to the defendant trust in May 2022, alleging that the fracture of Joe’s fifth carpometacarpal joint on his right hand, which was clearly visible on the original radiograph, was missed and, therefore, there was a failure to carry out timely treatment for the injury – leaving him to suffer with additional and avoidable pain.
In 2022, the trust responded and admitted there was a failure to act on the radiology report, which led to a delay in Joe’s surgery, and apologised for the substandard care he had received.
A note from Natalizia Capizzi
“A timely diagnosis is essential to ensuring people who have suffered a fracture have the best chance of pain reduction and correct alignment of the fracture to assist the healing process.
“Joe suffered avoidable pain due to the defendant trust failing to identify the fifth carpometacarpal joint on his right hand was fractured, despite this being clearly visible on the radiograph.
“The defendant trust admitted that, had the injury been identified, Joe would have had surgery 16 days earlier, which would have prevented the additional suffering he was forced to endure.”
Contact our medical negligence solicitors
Our specialist team of medical negligence solicitors has experience supporting people who have suffered as a result of a missed fracture. If you would like to discuss making a claim, please call us on 0808 164 0808 or request a call back and we will call you.