Doctors working in Accident and Emergency medicine routinely deal with a wide variety of injuries and illnesses. Some patients present with life threatening injuries whilst the vast majority of people arriving in A & E require less urgent treatment.

Most commonly, medical staff will deal with injuries sustained as a result of trauma, including:

  • Soft tissue injury (including bruising, sprain, ligament damage, tendon damage)
  • Fracture.

Due to the varied nature of emergency medicine, there are many aspects of care which, if not properly executed, can give rise to claims. The Clinical Negligence team at Geldards has extensive experience of representing patients with such claims.

Successfully resolved cases include:

  • Failure to diagnose and treat scaphoid fractures
  • Failure to diagnose and treat Achilles tendon ruptures/injuries
  • Failure to remove glass from wounds
  • Failure to diagnose and treat appendicitis
  • Failure to diagnose cardiac conditions
  • Failure to investigate possible brain injuries

If you believe you have received unsatisfactory care in an accident and emergency unit and would like to pursue a claim, please contact a member of Geldards specialist team for an initial consultation free of charge.


RELEVANT CASES

CLAIMANT v HEATHERWOOD AND WEXHAM PARK HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

Geldards was instructed to bring a claim against the above named Trust following one month delay in diagnosis and treatment of right hip fracture.

The Claimant fell and attended A&E one week due to increasing pain and poor mobility. X-rays were interpreted to note an avulsion fracture of the right grater trochanter with medial displacement of the fracture fragment. The x-rays were reported 8 days after they had been taken. 17 days later the x-rays were reconsidered and noted a fracture but decided not to change the Claimant’s treatment plan. The Claimant was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital and encouraged to mobilise.

The physiotherapists were concerned by the Claimant’s leg length discrepancy and requested an x-ray. One month after presentation at hospital the claimant underwent hip surgery. The Claimant alleged the radiographer misinterpreted her x-ray on the day she presented at A&E.

The Claimant alleged the orthopaedic department erred in not changing her treatment plan when the fracture was later diagnosed. The delay caused the fracture to become displaced and led to an additional one month of pain and suffering. The trust admitted the fracture should have been diagnosed earlier and the failure to do so constituted a breach of duty. Causation was in dispute.

Settled £4,000 for one month of pain, suffering and loss of amenity.


CLAIMANT v NORTH BRISTOL NHS TRUST

The Claimant was admitted to Frenchay Hospital for treatment.ECG electrodes were fitted to his chest. He was sent for an MRI scan and was scanned whilst the electrodes remained on his chest.

As a result of the failure to remove the ECG electrodes the Claimant suffered a deep burn injury to his right shoulder. The burn injury required daily dressing and antibiotic cover to prevent infection.

An apology for the burn was made and the claim settled in the sum of £7,000.


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Rachel Kirby

RACHEL KIRBY

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