In 2004 Mrs B slipped on some ice. She fell awkwardly, landing with most of her weight on her right wrist. She went to A&E and was x-rayed, and was discharged after being told it was only a sprain.
However, the x-rays did show a subtle scaphoid fracture, meaning the wrist should have been put in a splint.
As a result Mrs B continued with her usual activities for six years.
As the years passed Mrs B’s wrist became increasingly painful, particularly when she was participating in physical activity. She eventually returned to hospital where further x-rays revealed that the old fracture had not fully healed and had caused malformation in the wrist.
Mrs B needed a major operation to reset her wrist. However, the operation was unsuccessful – due to the six year delay. Mrs B underwent a second operation to remove bone that had been damaged.
Despite the surgeries, Mrs B suffers with permanent symptoms and a loss of function in her right wrist.
This case shows that even the subtlest injuries can have major long-term consequences. Communication from and between doctors is key to ensuring that patients receive timely and appropriate treatment and enjoy the best possible recovery.
Mrs B received £125,000 in compensation as a result of her injuries.