22 December 2017

Kate Rushton, Solicitor in the clinical negligence and serious injury department recently settled a case for a client whose future career prospects were significantly affected by poor hospital management of a serious fracture to her dominant, right wrist.

The client had nearly completed a 3 year painting and decorating course at college when she sustained a serious wrist fracture. She attended the Defendant hospital where a comminuted intra-articular fracture of the distal radius with posterior angulation was diagnosed. The wrist was manipulated at hospital and then put in a cast. The client was then simply discharged and reviewed sporadically but surgery was not considered.

Predictably the fracture healed in a malaligned position. When the client’s cast was removed her wrist remained very painful and looked out of place but she was informed it would improve. The pain did not improve and the client had to return to A+E two days later where her wrist was noted to be deformed and painful and further x-rays were obtained. She was referred for orthopaedic opinion and then advised that she required surgery to fix the bone.

The client underwent surgery the following day, where unsurprisingly it was found that the fracture had already healed in the wrong position and it would not be possible to correct it without resorting to an Osteotomy (re-breaking of the bone).

After a prolonged period the client underwent corrective Osteotomy with bone graft which was an extensive operation requiring a graft from her hip.

The client was left with an unsatisfactory recovery and permanent symptoms and restrictions in her right wrist. Had the client received the correct treatment and under gone surgery within the first 5 weeks of the injury she would have made a complete recovery.

As a result of the negligence the client remains inhibited in many day to day tasks such as picking up house hold items, cooking, cleaning and hand writing. The client was also unable to return to painting and decorating and was unable to start working in this area as she had planned. As a result she was limited in her future career choices and her future earning potential was impacted.

Whilst the client was pleased with the result and the damages secured for her, this was a completely avoidable event that should not have happened. With the client’s presentation of injury surgery should have been considered immediately and the failure to do this has left the client with permenant restrictions in her dominant hand.

The Medical and Serious Injury Team at Curtis Law are committed to promoting Patient Safety. The team only acts for Claimants and is dedicated to providing a client care centred high level of service, providing the best possible advice and maximising damages. The department acts on a large number of fatal (including representation at Inquests) and high value cases. The department regularly advises on cases with valuation exceeding £1,000,000.00. We can be contacted on 01254 297130 or MedNeg@curtislaw.co.uk.