Man suffered fused vertebrae after being told back pain was due to flu
A 63-year-old man has received £8,500 compensation after a back complaint that resulted in a fused vertebrae was repeatedly dismissed by his doctors.
The man initially went to his GP surgery with an infection in his finger, which coincided with him suffering pain and discomfort in his lower back. He was seen by a nurse practitioner who prescribed him antibiotics for his finger and told him his back pain was caused by flu.
His pain got worse and his urine became discoloured. He returned to the surgery on three more occasions, and each time was given a different diagnosis and a different prescription. He gave a urine sample but it was never tested.
The man visited a private chiropractor who, following an X-ray, was severely concerned with his condition and told him to go back to his GP and not to travel abroad on a planned holiday.
The man’s GP dismissed the chiropractor’s concerns and insisted he was healthy enough to travel abroad.
However, the man was phoned by his GP a short time later and told that his blood tests were abnormal and he must not fly. He was admitted to hospital immediately.
There, he was diagnosed with discitis. The infection had eaten away the disc between L2 and L3 in the man’s spine and the two bones had fused together. He remained in hospital for more than a month before he was fit enough to return home.
As a result of his injury, the man lost three inches in height and two stone in weight. He now suffers a degree of pain and discomfort whenever he has to walk or sit for a lengthened period of time and his physical abilities are permanently limited.
The man took legal action against the GP practitioners, accusing them of negligence. He claimed that had he received the correct diagnosis and necessary treatment straight away then his condition would never have escalated so badly.
The practitioners denied liability, but agreed to an out-of-court settlement of £8,500.
Insert name said: “This man has rightly been compensated after a series of failings by his GP practitioners left him in constant pain and needing a month in hospital to recover. He has also suffered permanent damaging effects as a result of their negligence.”
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BUTLER v (1) Dr M (2) DR J (2013)
Total Damages: £8,500 (£8,758.4 RPI)
Trial/settlement date: 21/5/2013
Type of Award: Out of Court Settlement