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Missed Fractures And Medical Negligence

When you sustain a fracture, you expect it to be treated by medical professionals with relative ease. However, there are times when doctors fail to diagnose the break, thereby leaving it unrepaired. If this has happened to you, you could be entitled to compensation for the prolonged pain and suffering your missed fracture has caused.

How can a fracture be missed?

A fracture will commonly occur after some form of traumatic accident such as a slip, trip or fall. It will immediately result in severe pain, while swelling and tenderness will usually develop soon afterwards.

If a fractured bone is suspected, the only way to confirm a diagnosis is to attend hospital for an x-ray. This will show an image of the bone, revealing whether or not it has suffered any form of fracture. If there is a breakage, doctors must decide upon the best course of treatment. Typically this will involve applying a plaster cast to the affected area, although more serious fractures may require surgery in order to realign the bone. On the other hand, it is possible that no medical intervention is required whatsoever, as some fractures will heal of their own accord.

However, there are times when medical professionals mistakenly leave a fracture untreated because they have failed to make an accurate diagnosis. A missed fracture such as this will commonly occur for one of two reasons:-

1. Doctors failed to carry out an x-ray;

2. An x-ray was performed, but doctors failed to spot the fracture.

Will a missed fracture lead to complications?

A missed fracture will cause a number of complications for the person concerned. While these will vary according to the location of the fracture, the most common problem is an incorrect alignment of the bone. Indeed, it is important that a fractured bone is set back into place soon after the event. Otherwise a bone will fuse together in the wrong position, causing pain and reduced movement. It will then be necessary to either live with these consequences or have the bone re-broken and realigned. Other complications can also include blood clots, infection and, if the fracture is located in the neck, paralysis.

Can compensation be claimed for a missed fracture?

If a fracture is missed by medical professionals, it will be possible to pursue a medical negligence claim. This is because the quality of care provided will have fallen below an acceptable standard. Anyone injured because of a substandard level of care is entitled to claim compensation for the pain, suffering and financial damage they have consequently sustained.

For more information on claiming compensation for a missed fracture, you need to contact a medical negligence solicitor without delay.

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