Finger injury – delay in hospital referral

This was one of our clinical negligence claims. The background to this case is as follows:

  • Our client, the Claimant, was serving with the RAF as an aircraft engineer during 2010.
  • At the material time, he was posted in Afghanistan. In November 2010, whilst playing rugby, he sustained a blunt trauma injury to his right little finger (his dominant hand), subsequently diagnosed as a fracture.
  • He was flown back to the UK and underwent surgery at a hospital in Birmingham.
  • Post discharge, he developed an infection in his finger which is a recognised side effect of the surgery.
  • The claim related to the management of the infection by the medical staff of the Ministry of Defence (the Defendant) at a consultation which took place in December 2010. At the consultation, he was prescribed some oral antibiotics to take. There was no follow-up and he re-attended hospital at the beginning of 2011 due to the severity of his infection.
  • In June 2011, he had to undergo an amputation of his right finger through the knuckle due to the infection.
  • The Claimant left the RAF during January 2012 and he now works as an civilian aircraft technician but he finds his job more difficult in light of the amputation.

It was the Claimant’s case that there was a failure on the part of the medical staff of the Defendant to investigate and treat the emerging infection in December 2010. An earlier referral to hospital and the administration of intravenous antibiotics would have avoided the amputation. It was accepted that the infection would have caused some damage to his finger in any event.

The Defendant admitted liability in respect of the breach of duty allegation namely the Claimant should have been reviewed 72 hours after he had been given oral antibiotics at the consultation and it is likely he would have been referred at this time to see a specialist at hospital. Causation, however was disputed by the Defendant. They disagreed that the amputation could have been avoided even with an earlier referral/treatment.

Following the issue of proceedings, the parties were able to agree a settlement, both parties allowing for the litigation risk on causation.

S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £27,500.00 for this client during 2017

2017-09-28T16:40:39+00:00