Failure To Diagnose Finger Injury
Mike, a Training Officer for a bus operator, attended Accident & Emergency after having suffered an injury to his right ring finger.
Mike had been driving to pick his daughter up from school when he heard something hit his car. When he got out to investigate, a groups of youths threw a beer bottle at him which hit his right hand. After a short while, he noticed his right ring finger was protruding at an unusual angle. Mike manipulated it back into position, but his finger began to swell and turn black in colour.
These symptoms deteriorated over the next couple of days until Mike’s finger had swollen to twice its normal size. He was also experiencing a high level of pain which extended to the palm of his hand. He went to A&E, where his hand was X-rayed and examined by a doctor. During this examination, Mike informed the doctor that by this stage he could no longer move the tip of his right ring finger. However, he was told no bones were broken, and the lack of movement in the finger was due to swelling.
After two weeks the swelling had not reduced, and a throbbing pain in his hand persisted. Mike attended his GP, who after examining the finger suspected he had in fact snapped the tendon in his right ring finger. Mike was referred to a specialist who performed some simple mobility tests before confirming the GP’s diagnosis.
Mike was then put on the waiting list for a two-stage operation. In November 2006 he underwent the first stage of the procedure. This involved an incision being made from his palm to the tip of his ring finger, allowing the damaged tendon to be removed and a silicon rod inserted. Nine months later, in August 2007, a second operation removed the silicon rod and a tendon was grafted from his wrist and placed in his finger.
As a result of the two operations, Mike now has a zig-zag scar of 5 inches in length which runs from the tip of his finger, all the way to the middle of his palm. He also has scarring on his right wrist where the graft was taken from. However, had the snapped tendon been diagnosed when Mike first attended A&E, he could have been treated with a simple procedure under local anaesthetic that would have left him with a one inch scar.
Because medical staff at A&E failed to perform the simple test for a snapped tendon, Mike had to have two operations under general anaesthetic. He was in a great deal of discomfort until the second operation and was continually on antibiotics for his pain. Additionally during this time he could not sleep due to having to keep his right arm elevated. Mike still has intermittent pain, has lost the feeling in his right ring finger, and can no longer enjoy his hobbies of snooker and darts.
Mike contacted Glynns, and we believed A&E staff failed to diagnose his finger injury causing him additional pain and suffering. We helped Mike file a medical negligence claim, which was settled for £10,000.
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