Blundering hospital sent injured child home with a plaster cast on the wrong limb
Toddler walked around on broken leg for five days after mistakeWas in agony after trampoline accident
08:48 GMT, 16 August 2012
Blundering doctors sent a toddler with a fractured leg home after putting a cast on the wrong limb.
Lucy Rylatt was left in agony after injuring herself on a trampoline while on a family holiday in Williton, Somerset.
The 23-month-old's worried parents Samantha and Dave rushed her to nearby Minehead Hospital, where she was unable to have an x-ray as it was out of hours and closed.
Lucy Rylatt, 2, with her broken right leg correctly plastered, hobbled around for days because of the blunder
Doctors suspected a fracture in her right leg and she was taken to nearby Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, where it was put in a cast.
But staff mistakenly put a plaster cast on her left leg and allowed the 23-month-old to return to her family.
Now Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton has apologised for their blunder.
The error meant Lucy was walking on a broken leg for five days before her parents decided to take her back to the hospital.
An x-ray showed that the wrong leg had been plastered and red-faced doctors quickly put the fractured right leg in a cast.
Father Dave, 49, of Westford, Somerset, said: 'We took Lucy to Musgrove and they sustained a fracture in Lucy’s left leg and put it in plaster.
'When we went back a doctor told us she was fine. Lucy was hobbling around and we noticed she was uncomfortable.
Mistake: Little Lucy had her left leg incorrectly fitted with a cast, which the hospital have now apologised for
'Samantha contacted Minehead Hospital and we took her straight there. An x-ray showed it was actually her right leg that was fractured and they plastered it.'
Lucy is expected to wear the cast for another two to three weeks.
The operations director for a consulting engineering company, said: 'You almost can't believe it could happen.
'My wife feels so guilty about it.
She had been told that it was the right leg and Minehead and expected
that the cast would be fitted to that leg.
'But then when they got to Musgrove
Park the consultant insisted it was the left leg and she felt
intimidated and assumed she must have been wrong.
'I am just so frustrated.'
Samantha and Dave made a complaint to the NHS but claim it took a week before they received a reply.
But he added: 'We’re not after compensation because that’s taken money out of our own pockets and I don’t believe in that.'
A spokesman for Musgrove Park Hospital apologised to Lucy’s family and said they had responded to the complaint in three working days.
He said: 'With an un-witnessed accident and no obvious signs of injury such as swelling, bruising, or deformity, it can sometimes be difficult to identify the site of injury in very young children.
'To protect children from the risk of radiation we don’t request x-rays unless there are sufficient concerns.
'Unfortunately, having examined Lucy, the doctor felt it was the left leg that was injured. We are very sorry.'