Health board ordered to apologise
A watchdog has told a health board to apologise to a car crash victim for “significant failings” in his treatment including risking paralysis by not diagnosing his spine fracture.
The patient was treated at Balfour Hospital in Orkney following a car accident but was not given a spine X-ray despite complaining about back pain, an investigation found.
He was only given paracetamol for the pain but when he was airlifted to another hospital, doctors there discovered he had fractured his spine. A support worker complained to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) on behalf of the patient, claiming he “could have been paralysed”.
A consultant in emergency medicine who carried out an investigation for the SPSO said medical staff at Balfour Hospital who allowed the injured man to sit up “created a considerable risk of him sustaining an injury to his spinal cord and becoming paralysed”.
The watchdog has asked NHS Orkney to apologise in writing to the patient, known as Mr A. The SPSO said in a report: “We found multiple failings in the care and treatment provided to Mr A.”