NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

NHS Orkney to apologise over crash spine X-ray man

NHS Orkney has apologised to a car crash victim for failings in his treatment including not diagnosing a spine fracture.

The patient was treated at Balfour Hospital but was not given a spine X-ray despite complaining about back pain, an investigation found.

He was given paracetamol, but when he was airlifted to another hospital doctors discovered the fractured spine.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) asked for the apology.

'Significant failings'

The car accident happened in August last year.

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 SPSO said in a report: "We found multiple significant failings in the care and treatment provided to Mr A."

The SPSO also asked the health board to provide evidence it had carried out a review into the case and had examined the systems and staff training for the initial management of seriously-injured patients.

NHS Orkney chief executive Cathie Cowan said: "I am very sorry and fully accept that Mr A did not receive the appropriate clinical treatment when he presented at our A&E department following a road traffic accident."

Related Topics