At times, doctors can overlook the most minuscule and not so minuscule items but they can leave the patient with great discomfort for many years until the issue is resolved. Sadly medical negligence breathing problems are becoming more frequent in the UK.
Such is the case of man who lives in the central mid-lands of England and ended up with a 5 mm piece of steel embedded in his nose for seven years. It happened after he had an accident at work in January 2004 operating a bolt maker and the metal shattered. The steel metal hit him in the face and broke his nose.
He was taken to a local hospital where the medical team treated the wounds on his skin he received from the accident and then prescribed some medication to ease with the pain. The team, however, chose not to give him an X-ray.
The many discovered after the wounds had healed that he could not breathe through one of his nostrils, a situation which lasted for seven years. He tried on several occasions to solve his problem by returning to the hospital and meeting with his general practitioner. Even after a three-month period of time, doctors were not convinced that he had suffered any additional injuries other than the original injuries for which he was treated when the accident took place.
Seven years after the accident took place, the steel fragment broke through the surface of the skin and the cause of his problems was discovered. The man commented that he was very frustrated that no one would listen to him and that it took all this time for the cause of his problem to be found.
The piece of metal then came free on its own accord and the man was left with a hole on the side of his nose. He was re-admitted to the hospital and examined by a specialist. He was then able to undergo surgery to help him to breathe more easily.
He brought suit against the hospital which provided him with a settlement of £5,000. The head of medical insurance for his legal team commented that this case is an example of how important a thorough investigation can be after an accident. The attorney added that seven years is a long time to wait for proper treatment, particularly when it involves breathing problems and also has aesthetic consequences.
Although the failure of the medical team to find the piece of metal was not acceptable, the man said he is glad he can put all of this behind him, with the knowledge that from now on X-rays will be performed as part of the treatment following an accident of this nature.
A spokesperson from the hospital apologized to the man for not having done a more thorough examination of his nose or doing an X-ray back in 2004. The hospital recognises the discomfort that the man had been caused due to the failure to remove the metal. However, the hospital is glad to have come to a settlement and reward the main with the compensation he deserves.
Don’t let medical negligence get the better of you, seek help immediately.