Man confined to wheelchair after hospital fails to diagnose spinal injury

Personal injury solicitors recently helped a man from Birmingham to win his medical negligence claim against Russells Hall Hospital in the West Midlands.

The 61-year-old composer was taken to the hospital after he suffered a fall at home. Staff at the hospital failed to realise that his back was fractured and as a result the man suffered an injury to his complete spinal cord.

When he was taken to hospital, the victim complained of severe back pain, but medical staff did not even send him to the X-ray department. Instead, they treated him for a suspected urine infection!

He explained that he was given morphine to numb the pain but that left him feeling disorientated and he kept dropping off to sleep. When he woke after one bout of unconsciousness he could no longer feel his legs.

The chief executive of the NHS Trust that administers Russells Hall Hospital, the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, said the Trust offered sincere apologies to the victim for its failure to correctly diagnose his injury. It admitted liability and said he should have expected a much better standard of care.

Paula Clark went on to say that lessons have been learned and staff would receive additional training to minimise the chances of a similar incident occurring in the future.

The final compensation award has yet to be determined but the hospital trust has said it will make sure the victim and his family are financially secure. He has already received various interim payments in order to adapt his home for the wheelchair he now needs to rely on.

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