In 2004 Becky slipped on some ice. She fell awkwardly, landing with most of her weight on her right wrist. She went to A&E for x-rays, and was discharged after being told it was only a sprain.
As a result, Becky continued with her usual activities for six years.
As the years passed her wrist became increasingly painful, particularly when she was participating in physical activity. She eventually returned to hospital where further x-rays revealed that an old fracture of the scaphoid bone had not fully healed and had caused malformation in the wrist. They reviewed the original x-ray and the fracture was visible.
Becky needed a major operation to reset her wrist. However, the operation was unsuccessful – due to the six year delay. She therefore underwent a second operation to remove bone that had been damaged.
Despite the operations, she suffers with permanent symptoms and a loss of function in her right wrist.
This case shows that even the misdiagnosis of a relatively minor injury 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.