May 3, 2012

Failure to diagnose a hip condition at birth results in a successful claim

G’s family already had a history of congenital displacement of the hip, so when she was born her mother noted that that her right foot flopped inwards and reported her concerns to the hospital staff. She was, however, reassured that there was no need to worry and that her daughter’s hip was fine.

it was not until 17 months and multiple visits to the GP later that the little girl was referred to the hospital and the hip displacement was finally diagnosed.

G had a reduction procedure and seemed to be doing well at first. However, later that year her family expressed concern again: it was noted that the girl’s hip had developed abnormally and she had to have another procedure as a result.

This was not the end of the story: another four years later G had further issues with her hip. The blood supply to her hip became compromised and her femur was noted to be too short. She had to undergo another procedure which increased her range of movement.
However, in the following years G had developed a limp and it became apparent that one of her legs was 1cm shorter that the other. She will require a hip replacement procedure when she is around 18 and might need a further two revision procedures in her adult life.

In the meantime, G’s compensation claim was successfully concluded by Kerstin Scheel, associate in our Clinical Negligence team. G received a significant payout of £445,000 which accounted for the cost of care she had needed over the years, equipment to help with her mobility, occupational therapy and adapted accommodation.

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