Rugby dreams destroyed by A&E mistake26 June 2009
Hospital missed fractured wrist
The 23-year-old, who does not wish to be named, has now received £80,000 in compensation after North Devon Healthcare Hospital failed to spot the scaphoid injury, where a small bone inside the wrist is broken.
The student, who was just 16-years-old at the time of the injury, used his wrist for five months before the break was spotted by his GP.
Scaphoid injuries are notoriously difficult to diagnose
Scaphoid injuries are notoriously difficult to diagnose and the hospital should have offered him an x-ray 10 to 14 days following the accident which would have picked up the injury.
Instead he was told to rest his arm for ten days.
When the fracture was eventually diagnosed he had to undergo three operations to repair it including a bone graft.
The former member of the South West Rugby Academy, who is now studying to become a graphic designer at university, can no longer play rugby and still suffers significant pain in his wrist.
Ongoing problems with wrist
Before the accident he had hoped to become a professional rugby player.
He said: “I feel severely let down that I no longer have the option of a career in rugby. I had dreams and ambitions to succeed and I believe I had the ability to do so. This has now been taken away from me.
“I’m working hard to make a career in graphic design but it is a competitive field and I am concerned I will be held back due to the ongoing problems with my wrist which means it takes me much longer to complete assignments and tasks.”
He instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation. North Devon Healthcare Hospital settled the case two weeks before it was due to go to trial. The hospital admitted they should have called him back for a further x-ray.
Michael Burrell from Thompsons Solicitors said: “The circumstances of this client’s injury were typical of a scaphoid injury. Despite this, the emergency department failed to arrange a follow up x-ray which would have diagnosed his condition. As a result the client has been left with debilitating symptoms and has had his dreams of pursuing a professional career in rugby destroyed.”
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