We recovered £37,500 in compensation for a six year old girl after a delay in diagnosing her fractured and dislocated radius.
The young girl fell while playing and was taken to her local accident and emergency department. An X-ray and assessment in A&E took place, from which the claimant's parents were advised she sustained a simple fracture to the ulna. She received an appointment at the fracture clinic but, as the family were in the process of moving house, they were advised to make an appointment at their new local fracture clinic as it was not urgent.
The appointment was made for five days later. The hospital made it clear that if it had been an emergency they would have given her an earlier appointment. Following assessment at the Fracture Clinic, a recommendation for surgery was made. They identified that the girl had sustained a serious fracture of the ulna and a displacement of the radial head.
The operation to repair the fracture was not a complete success and the radius was still displaced and one week later even more out of place. As she was still growing it was decided that they would not re-operate. At the final check-up appointment she had 30% lack of movement in moving the arm up and down and a 90% lack of movement in her elbow.
Her mother came to see our solicitors, who are experienced in claiming compensation for hospital delays in diagnosis or misdiagnosis of breakages or fractures. A compensation claim was brought against the first hospital for the delay in diagnosis of the fractured and dislocated radius, which resulted in the child feeling prolonged period pain, stiffness, discomfort in cold weather, and scarring.
Proceedings were entered against the first hospital and expert evidence was obtained from an Orthopaedic Surgeon, who confirmed the delay in diagnosis resulted in a longer period of immobilisation and stiffness, and a more severe operation had been required than would have been carried out if the correct diagnosis had been reached immediately.
The hospital trust initially admitted that there had been a failure to diagnose the injury correctly. However, it was the hospital's opinion that the more severe procedure would have been required in any event, and that the outcome had not necessarily been worse for the girl.
The matter was listed for a trial on the outstanding issues, but the defendant conceded that the claimant's expert was correct in terms of the severity of the procedure, and judgment was entered for the claimant.
Subsequently additional evidence was obtained on condition and prognosis and we negotiated a settlement figure of £37,500 in compensation, subject to court approval.
There was no cost to our client in bringing this claim.