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Joachim Stanley of the Clinical Negligence Team acted for a client pursuing a claim for negligent treatment of a fractured wrist leading to numerous operations and permanent disability. In June P was admitted to the Accident and Emergency Department of …
By Robert Wells
Joachim Stanley of the Clinical Negligence Team acted for a client pursuing a claim for negligent treatment of a fractured wrist leading to numerous operations and permanent disability. In June P was admitted to the Accident and Emergency Department of the Defendant Hospital, having fallen onto her left hand and injured her left (non-dominant) wrist. X-rays showed a severely displaced fracture of the distal radius. The fracture was then reduced under sedation, and a plaster cast was applied. When she was seen as a outpatient at the Fracture Clinic approximately 2 weeks later, further x-rays showed a significant loss of the reduction. P was eventually admitted to hospital on 4 July and underwent an manipulation under anaesthetic of the distal left radius. This procedure was not a success, and she was referred to another hospital. Thereafter, P underwent a further 8 surgical procedures over a period of years. Unsurprisingly, these became increasingly difficult, and she eventually underwent a partial fusion operation, which limited movement in the wrist but reduced her levels of pain. Our investigations revealed that there was a negligent failure in June 2006 to re-admit P for re-reduction of the fracture and fixation with a plate or pins. There was a further negligent failure on 4 July 2006 to perform open reduction and internal fixation of the fracture, probably with bone-grafting. Had these steps been taken then the disastrous serious of events which followed would have been avoided. The Defendant Hospital initially denied that its care had been negligent, but after persistence from the Clinical Negligence Team the Hospital admitted they had breached their duty of care to P. We were thereafter able to negotiate an out of Court settlement of £200,000 on P’s behalf, with which she was very happy.