Compensation for Misdiagnosis Leading to Hip Replacement
After the hospital failed to diagnose Jim with a fractured hip, we helped him recover significant compensation. The delay in diagnosis resulted in Jim needing a hip replacement.When Jim fell from a ladder at home in March 2010 he landed on his hip and was in a lot of pain. Jim immediately went to hospital and he had a hip x-ray. The doctor told Jim his hip was not fractured and it was just bruised. Jim was told to exercise and he went on holiday as planned. He was as active as possible but the pain did not improve.
Ten days later, Jim returned to the Accident & Emergency Department at the same hospital. This time the doctor diagnosed a fracture of the hip. He subsequently underwent a total hip replacement and was in hospital for 8 days.
Jim was unhappy about the delay in his diagnosis and he made a complaint. He felt that the doctor should have realised his hip was fractured on his first visit to the hospital. The hospital reviewed the initial x-ray and said that Jim’s hip fracture was not displaced. They said that this meant the hip looked normal so it was not possible to diagnose any problem.
Jim found this difficult to accept so he instructed us to consult independent experts. We sent the initial x-ray to experts in Accident & Emergency Medicine, Radiology and Orthopaedics. They all said that the fracture was obvious. If the doctor had diagnosed correctly, Jim should have been admitted for a simple internal fixation. The independent experts confirmed that Jim would not have needed a hip replacement if the fracture had been diagnosed on the first visit. He would have made a better and quicker recovery.
A successful claim for Jim
Although Jim has made reasonable progress, he is now at risk of requiring hip revision or replacement.
We wrote to the NHSLA who were acting on behalf of the hospital. We claimed compensation for negligence related to his misdiagnosis and, despite their response to the complaint, we received a full admission of liability. Our Clinical Negligence team helped Jim to obtain significant and satisfactory compensation. This reflected the increased pain, suffering and poor outcome caused by the hospital’s failings.
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