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April 30th 2021

Medical Negligence

£8,000 in damages as failures to diagnose and treat finger injury brings multiple extensive surgeries

Michelle Tebbutt

Michelle Tebbutt

Associate Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

£8,000 in damages as failures to diagnose and treat finger injury brings multiple extensive surgeries

Medical negligence client suffers after doctors failed to diagnose and treat tendon injuries and a dislocation of the finger where an excessive delay in treating her caused avoidable, extensive surgery and unnecessary pain over a seven week period.

Medical negligence client suffers after doctors failed to diagnose and treat tendon injuries and a dislocation of the finger where an excessive delay in treating her caused avoidable, extensive surgery and unnecessary pain over a seven week period.

After finding herself unable to move or flex her right little finger, our client visited her local Minor Injuries Unit in the Hull area. An X-Ray found a dislocation in the finger.

The following day, our client was referred to a plastic surgeon who supplied a resting splint for the finger – she was then simply referred for physiotherapy which would not begin for another two weeks.

A failure to take heed on the basis that our client could not move her finger in the initial assessment meant that her more extensive injuries had been missed.

These failures meant that the repair did not take place within the early days which would have been crucial for a swift recovery.

During the initial assessment, failure to diagnose the flexor tendon injury led to a series of complications which resulted in extended pain, suffering and loss of amenity over a number of weeks and ultimately, leading to our client requiring an unavoidable tendon graft.

Had the injury been diagnosed correctly in the first instance, this operation would not have been necessary.

Medical negligence claim – what happened in the case?

After undergoing an X-Ray on June 5, 2018, a strap was applied to the finger and a follow up appointment with the Plastic Surgery department was arranged for the next day. She was provided a splint and was referred to physiotherapy.

Ten days later, on June 15, the claimant attended physiotherapy who in turn suspected a ruptured tendon in her finger. She was, therefore, re-referred to plastic surgery.

The following month, she attended the Plastics Trauma Clinic and was advised that she had suffered a complex injury which may require one or two stage surgery.

Another appointment was attended at the Plastic Surgery Department in late July, 6 weeks after the first assessment.

She was told that the injury could be left, though her grip was significantly impaired, or she could undergo surgery. Advice was given that if surgery did not work at this late stage, she could require a two-stage operation for ligament reconstruction. All of which would have been avoidable.

The legal case for medical negligence compensation

Specialist medical negligence lawyer Michelle Tebbutt supported our client through the legal claim to identify the point of negligence.

It was found that the client should have been diagnosed with the tendon injury on June 6 when visiting the plastic surgeon. Tendon repair surgery would have been performed within five days – this did not happen. It was admitted that if tendon repair surgery was successfully performed within this time it would have resulted in a satisfactory outcome.

After reviewing medical records and further advice, Ms Tebbutt was able to secure £8,000 in damages for our client as a result of the negligence causing further surgery, pain, suffering and loss of amenity in the coming weeks.

The case was settled without the need to go to court.

Comment from our expert medical negligence lawyer in the case

Clinical negligence solicitor Ms Tebbutt said: “Unfortunately we see delays in diagnosis and treatment like this all too often. Something that could have been corrected early on in the process was missed due to negligence and caused our client suffering for an extended number of weeks.

“We were pleased that we were able to bring this to light and ensure that the suffering and loss of amenity over a sustained period of time was accounted for and we could secure damages to help our client through this.”

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