Even if you slip, they shouldn’t
Tis the season…to be careful! With winter being well and truly upon us, we need to be prepared to watch out for ourselves and others as trips and falls become more common. While icy streets, less daylight and decreased visibility can be daunting for some, for those that do end up injuring themselves, hospitals should not be a daunting prospect.
It is not breaking news that hospitals, specifically A&E departments, face extra burden at this time of year. In fact, this year the NHS issued a rather early warning (in August) asking the public to avoid A&E where possible, in preparation for the cold season. However, despite the pressures, this should not be an excuse not to provide an appropriate care to the patients. While it is, of course, our responsibility to remain careful on those slippery streets, it is the duty of the NHS to ensure that once we seek help that we receive an appropriate care.
Fractures, as a result of slips, trips and falls, are common and unfortunately these can sometimes be misdiagnosed. This happens because some fractures may not be visible in the first few days after the injury.
When an injury or a fracture is suspected, it is very important that a treating doctor does the following:
· Takes a detailed history of what happened,
· Conducts a thorough physical examination,
· Considers whether imaging is required.
Based on the two first factors, the doctor will then consider whether an x-ray is required to confirm the type of the injury. Sometimes an x-ray might come back as normal, even though a fracture has been sustained. This can happen for a number of reasons, for example, the surrounding tissues are too swollen at the time of presentation and a few days need to pass before a diagnosis can be confirmed.
This means it is vital that no matter how busy the doctors are, a thorough examination must take place. If a definite diagnosis cannot be reached, it is the duty of a doctor to be aware of this and arrange a follow up visit, however busy a hospital may be. Even at minor injury units, medical staff have a duty of care to arrange an x-ray if a fracture is suspected, followed by a referral or follow up at a fracture clinic.
Missing a fracture is luckily not very common but does still happen. If you feel that you have suffered an injury and potentially were misdiagnosed, have a read of our Top 5 Tips for preparing to make a Personal Injury or Negligence claim and contact the Universa Law team to see if the care and management you received in hospital might have been negligent.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, which we believe is the most risk-free and stress-free way of making a claim as you never have to send a payment to us, win or lose.
Contact Universa Law for a free initial consultation and to get your questions answered.