"painkillers or crutches - a missed fracture"

About: Perth Royal Infirmary / Trauma & orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I had a friend take me to Perth Royal Infirmary on Sunday 1st of march 2009 at 15.30 unable to walk, to have what I was sure was a broken/fractured fibula in my left leg checked, (smaller bone of the lower leg). I was sent to x-ray, where I expressed concern that they were x-raying the leg from the wrong side, to be told they could see through the bone and it would make no difference. Back in A&E was told no break, it was tissue damage, and as such would not be giving me crutches. I then demanded a second opinion, where by the senior doctor in charge confirmed no break, but would give me painkillers. Ss in his opinion it should be as mobile as possible and I could sit in waiting area till they took effect to enable me to walk out of the place. Needless to say I left without the painkillers, on crutches. Subsequently I went to my own doctor to obtain painkillers. Then to my total dismay, I was called at home on Wednesday 4th, to be asked if I was still using the crutches, when I confirmed I was, I was informed that the leg was fractured, that I had to keep it elevated and to ensure I used the crutches, contrary to what I had already been told, and an appointment for Wednesday the 11th was made for orthopaedics. Unbelievably, the man in charge of A&E plus another doctor missed it, argued with me over crutches and had me leave in agony. I’m simply not impressed by the standard of care or professionalism in this hospital, never mind the possible consequences of further, more serious injury occurring, thus taking longer to heal, due to the mistakes of these ‘professionals’.

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