We have settled a claim after a hospital failed to make a timely diagnosis of osteosarcoma (a primary bone cancer) and instead interpreted two sets of X-rays as only showing a minor fracture. Our client was put in a knee brace and referred for physiotherapy, which he attended and tried his best to complete, but experienced significant pain and anxiety.
The true nature of our client’s injury only came to light some time later when it was obvious that the physiotherapy was not working and his condition was deteriorating rather than improving. He then underwent further investigations leading to extensive orthopaedic surgery to remove the damaged bone in his leg and have metalwork inserted.
Our clinical negligence team investigated the claim by obtaining independent expert evidence looking into the orthopaedic and oncology aspects of the case. We concluded that the interpretation of the X-rays fell below a satisfactory standard and that the osteosarcoma should have been diagnosed some five months earlier. Our client should have undergone surgery sooner and, with better care, he would not have been subjected to the painful physiotherapy. He would still have required surgery and his prognosis afterwards would have been the same, but it would have saved him the five month period of uncertainty, anxiety, pain and suffering and the financial expenditure incurred.
NHS Resolution admitted liability on the part of the NHS trust involved (despite the trust standing by the radiology reporting when dealing with our client’s own NHS complaint) and the claim settled for £5,000 in damages.
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