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Rachel, 36 years old, from Leeds fell and injured her head on shattered glass. Rachel immediately attended the Accident and Emergency Department where an x-ray was taken on her head. Rachel was informed the x-ray did not show any abnormal features. The wound on her head was glued and Rachel was discharged home.

Unfortunately 18 months later Rachel began to suffer with pain on the right side of her head causing headaches and disturbed sleep. Rachel returned to the Accident and Emergency Department where a second x-ray was taken identifying multiple foreign bodies. Rachel underwent two surgical procedures to remove the pieces of glass, during both the operations however only one piece of glass was removed. Rachel was subsequently advised any further surgery to remove the remaining glass would increase the area of numbness in her head and result in further scarring.

Rachel instructed Pryers Solicitors to investigate a potential Clinical Negligence claim against the Hospital Trust. Pryers Solicitors obtained evidence from an Expert in Radiology and Maxillofacial Surgery.  The experts were of the opinion Rachel has been left with altered sensation over the right side of the back of her head. If the glass fragments had been identified Rachel would have only undergone one surgical procedure and would have a shorter period of pain and suffering.

It was put to the Defendant that they failed to take an x-ray of the correct location of Rachel’s scalp, failed to take an x-ray to expose the soft tissue rather than bone and failed to diagnose the presence of the glass fragments in the head wounds. If the glass fragments had been identified during the first Accident and Emergency attendance, surgery would have been performed sooner, as a result, the glass would have been easier to remove as scar tissue would not have been present.

The Trust admitted the above failings. Settlement negotiations took place and Rachel was happy to accept settlement for the sum of £16,500.

Settlement £16,500
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Richard Starkie is a Partner at Pryers Solicitors with a great knowledge of medicine, equipping him to ask insightful questions of experts, as acknowledged by this years @ChambersGuides

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