Delay in diagnosis of a severed tendon

Posted by Joanna Rzepecka, 26th November 2018
In May of 2017, Ms N injured her little and index finger with a knife whilst preparing food. She attended A&E where she was assessed by a doctor who advised her that the cut was not deep. Ms N was given painkillers and the wound was closed with steri-strips.

Just over a week later, Ms N noted that she could not flex her finger. She attended her GP practice, where it was believed that she had damaged the tendon.  The GP referred Ms N to hospital for further investigations.

Soon after, Ms N was seen in clinic by a plastic surgeon, who advised her that she had severed a tendon and would need to undergo surgery to have it repaired as soon as possible. Unfortunately Ms N was not immediately admitted to hospital for the surgery. Due to hospital errors she lost the chance of recovery with assistance of one operation only.  Subsequently Ms N was informed that unfortunately she now required two staged surgery with a prolonged recovery time.  Ms N underwent both surgeries; however she sustained further complications and will require a third operation to complete the treatment and gain full movement in her finger.

Ms N contacted Blake Morgan’s Clinical Negligence department in June 2017, in the hope of receiving compensation for the unacceptable service that she was provided with.  A letter of claim was sent to the Defendant setting out allegations that the treatment provided was below the required standards of care.  The Defendant admitted in the letter of response that there were failures in diagnosing and further managing the injury, which prevented the claimant from receiving quicker and less complicated treatment. The Defendant made a settlement offer and during further negotiations the claimant accepted £15,000 in full and final settlement of the claim.

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