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Scaphoid fracture - failure to diagnose

Defendants: West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust


The claimant, a man of 23 years old, had an injury playing football. He fell and hurt his wrist and went to hospital. X-rays were taken but a fracture to the scaphoid bone was missed on the films and he was sent home without treatment.

When he was later diagnosed with a fractured scaphoid, he had suffered permanent damage and now has some problems with use of his hand.


  • Failure to interpret the X-rays correctly and to diagnose a scaphoid fracture.
  • Failure to immobilise the scaphoid fracture and prevent permanent damage.


Court proceedings were issued and served. After the hospital had the chance to examine the original X-ray (which the claimant had in his possession) liability was admitted.

The defendants then opened negotiations and terms of settlement were finally agreed in the sum of £60,000.