Missed Fracture Compensation

One of the common complaints against the Accident and Emergency Department within a Hospital Trust is the failure to correctly diagnose a fracture or a missed fracture while in the emergency department.

If not diagnosed in a timely fashion and dealt with correctly fractures can cause severe and long term consequences and indeed additional pain and ongoing disabilities which could have been avoided.

When we look at investigating at misdiagnosis claims we are looking for a number of factors including:-

  • Often junior or inexperienced doctors either failing to request an x-ray;
  • Incorrectly diagnosing soft tissue injury in the absence of an x-ray;
  • Inexperienced or junior radiologists reviewing x-rays or missing a fracture on an X-ray;
  • The incorrect angle of x-ray meaning the fracture was not identified;
  • A missed x-ray been passed to clinicians for review.

We often see cases where the misdiagnosis is identified quickly when a senior radiologist reviews radiology and as such often any consequence is minimised. The seriousness of such injuries occur where there is either no review by a senior radiologist or no x-ray taken initially which can lead to serious long term problems for patients including reduced range of movements and an increased risk of osteoarthritis in the affected area which can have a knock on complication for persons employability, and enjoyment of life.

Missed Scaphoid Fractures

Quite often we see cases involving fractures of the scaphoid which are not identified in a timely manner. The scaphoid bone is located in the wrist near to the base of the thumb and these often happen during a simple fall on an outstretched hand.

Due to the location of the bone within the joint itself quite often fractures of this bone are hard to identify and are missed. This can lead to serious long term problems involving either non union of the bone, reduced range of movement within the wrist and osteoarthritis or vascular necrosis leading to osteoarthritis.

Similar problems can arise from a missed ankle fracture.

Successful Claim

In order to achieve a successful claim we need to establish that there has been a breach of duty on the part of the clinicians involved which is done so by referring the matter to an expert to consider what a competent doctor would have done in similar circumstances. If we are able to establish the breach of duty we then assess whether this breach of duty has caused or contributed to a long term injury.

If you feel that yourself or somebody you know has suffered as a result of a misdiagnosed fracture then please contact our team of specialist medical negligence lawyers who have extensive experience of dealing with missed fracture compensation claims.

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