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16 July 2012
In this nerve injury case Clinical Negligence Lawyer Paul Sankey successfully represented a 58 year old woman who fell, fracturing her upper arm at the shoulder whilst on holiday abroad in August 2009.
The fracture was reduced in a local hospital but she was told to attend the hospital local to her home on her return.
A few days later she went to West Middlesex Hospital and saw a shoulder specialist. On 30th August 2009 she underwent a further operation under a nerve block rather than general anaesthetic. There was no discussion as to the risks of the nerve block. After surgery her arm felt limp and she was unable to move it.
On 14th September 2009 she saw the specialist who diagnosed Radial Nerve Palsy as a result of damage to the nerve. X-rays also indicated that one of the screws in her upper arm was protruding into the shoulder joint. She was referred to the Peripheral Nerve Unit of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital where on 8th December 2009 she underwent another operation. 3 protruding screws were removed. The protruding screws had not caused pain or any significant damage to the joint.
Fortunately for our client by January 2011 the nerve had made a full recovery.
Expert evidence indicated breaches of duty in failing to warn her of the risks of a nerve block (which increased the risk of injury to the radial nerve) and in failing to note on conclusion of surgery that screws were protruding into the joint.
In response to a letter of claim, nerve injury compensation was agreed at £5,000 damages.
Paul Sankey is a Senior Clinical Negligence Lawyer at Slater and Gordon in London.
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