Advising with empathy and experience

Delay in diagnosing and treating spinal fracture.

Emma Hudson of the CNCI team has successfully negotiated a compensation settlement for a claimant who suffered an unnecessary delay in diagnosing and treating a spinal fracture.

The Claimant slipped whilst on holiday landing on the base of her spine. On returning to the UK she attended her GP complaining of back pain and difficulty moving.  The Claimant’s GP diagnosed a reoccurrence of a previous back problem and prescribed pain relief.

The Claimant’s symptoms did not resolve and on a further attendance a loss of height of 3-4 inches was noted. Instead of being referred for an MRI scan which would have identified the spinal fracture, the Claimant was prescribed further pain relief and referred for physiotherapy.

The Claimant’s severe pain and suffering was exacerbated by the course of physiotherapy and despite attending the GP again on several occasions and requesting a referral for an MRI scan, the GP did not refer the Claimant.

The Claimant eventually attended Accident and Emergency where she underwent an MRI scan which diagnosed a closed vertebral fractures at several locations on her spine.

The Claimant was referred to a specialist neurology and pain management team who assisted the Claimant in managing her symptoms effectively.

The Claimant experienced significant pain and restricted mobility due to her symptoms which severely affected her quality of life, including the enjoyment of a family holiday.  The Claimant was unable to fulfil a work contract and suffered loss of earnings as a result.  Had the Claimant been referred for an MRI scan earlier, she would have been able to receive earlier care and treatment of her symptoms.

The Defendant’s representative admitted liability for the Claimant’s period of unnecessary pain and suffering and an early settlement was achieved.

Emma Hudson commented:

“This was a case where the Claimant’s symptoms were repeatedly dismissed by the GP, who failed to consider an alternative diagnosis and refer the Claimant for specialist imaging.  The Claimant was denied the opportunity of effective pain management for a period of time. We are pleased to have been able to assist the Claimant in achieving a settlement.”