Case Study: When broken bones aren't spotted

Our client, who had suffered an injury to his hand the previous evening, attended his local A&E Department for medical attention.

 X-rays were taken of our client’s right hand, and our client was informed that he had not sustained a fracture but rather a soft tissue injury. The same x-rays were reviewed by a radiologist at the same hospital approximately one week later and again were reported to show no fracture. 

Nearly three months went by, during which our client remained in a significant amount of pain. Our client again returned to the same hospital and further x-rays were taken. The radiologist at the hospital again reported that no fracture had been sustained to the hand. 

What happened?

Finally, approximately seven months after first sustaining the injury, our client returned to the same hospital. An orthopaedic doctor reviewed the x-rays which had previously been taken and said that they in fact did show some fractures. A CT scan was subsequently arranged, which confirmed this diagnosis. 

Failure to diagnose fracture claim result

Having obtained supportive independent medical evidence, a Letter of Claim was sent to the Trust responsible for the hospital in question alleging negligence as a result of the hospital’s failure (amongst other things) to properly report on the previously taken x-rays. 

We made it clear that based upon the evidence obtained, that if our client had received appropriate treatment when he ought to have done, the on-going symptoms in his hand would have been significantly less than he had in fact been left with. 

Liability was subsequently admitted by the hospital Trust and we successfully negotiated the compensation claim on behalf of our client.

Time is often of the essence when it comes to the diagnosis of fractured bones, especially bones in the hand/wrist as in this case. If you think you may have a fracture or broken bone that has been failed to be recognised, do not hesitate to get a second opinion. 


Contact our team to discuss your potential claim by email or call 0117 239 8012


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