NHS admits to mistakenly inserting wrong metal plates to fix fractures

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An unnamed NHS Trust has identified seven cases where patients have been treated incorrectly for fractured bones, with flexible reconstruction plates being inserted rather than the more rigid plates.

Allegedly the mistake is due to the design of the flexible reconstruction plate having changed causing it to look more like the rigid plates.

One of the abovementioned patients had fallen and the plate had buckled. They had to undergo further surgery to correct the problem. Another patient needed more surgery after their plate failed when they were having post-op physiotherapy.

NHS Improvement fears that this mistake could have also been made by other trusts elsewhere. Hospitals have now been asked to review X-rays of patients treated with fractured long bones (such as arms and legs) going back to February 2018. Although the redesign of the plates happened prior to this, any cases before this date would have fully healed by now.

This is likely to result in the review of around 5,500 cases.

The NHS has stated that anyone affected will be notified by their hospital.

Grace Hudson, Trainee Solicitor in the Medical Negligence team at Ashtons Legal comments: “It is unjustifiable that incorrect plates were used to treat fractures when such negligent treatment would seem so easily avoidable. The NHS Trust in question and other NHS Hospitals should make it a priority to remedy any injury caused by such negligence and ensure similar mistakes do not take place from this point forward.”


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