Toddler with a broken knee is sent home and told his injury is 'psychological' in a hospital blunderExperts diagnosed Archie Eldridge, 2, with hairline fracture, only for fracture clinic to remove case and say injury was 'psychological'Youngster walked for two weeks on knee injury before it was finally spotted
10:18 GMT, 20 June 2012
Agony: Archie Eldridge struggled to walk on his broken right knee after doctors misdiagnosed his injury last month
A two-year-old boy who broke his knee in an agonising gymnastics accident was forced to walk on the untreated injury for two weeks because doctors dismissed it as 'psychological'.
Archie Eldridge took a tumble on May 21 and was initially told he had suffered a 'suspected hairline fracture below the right knee'.
But after being given a temporary cast and booked into a fracture clinic appointment 10 days later, doctors looked at his original x-rays and decided to remove the cast.
To the amazement of his mother Natasha, the youngster could still not put any weight on his right leg at the follow-up appointment, but was told this was a 'psychological issue' and that he would be walking within a few days.
Mrs Eldridge, 33, said: 'The doctor informed us there was no fracture to his leg and asked Archie to walk, but he struggled to put any weight on his right leg.
'The doctor said this was psychological and he would be walking within the next few days.'
Archie was then discharged without a plaster cast and no further appointments were arranged.
But as time passed, it became evident Archie’s leg was not improving and his mum decided to take him to the A&E department at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, for a second opinion.
She explained: 'We were extremely unhappy with how Archie was walking.
'His right foot was turning out and he had been limping from the point he first put the foot on the floor, which was two days after being discharged from Darent Valley.'
Queen Mary’s referred him to his GP at Crayford Town Surgery who was equally concerned at the way the two-year-old was walking and immediately arranged a further appointment at the fracture clinic.
On June 14, Mrs Eldridge took her son back to Darent Valley, two weeks after he had been Discharged.
Mrs Eldridge, of Crayford, Greater London, said: 'We were sent for more X-rays of Archie’s hips and right leg.
Probe: Bosses at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford are investigating how the youngster's broken knee was missed by medics
'On returning to the consultant we were told he had a definite break just below the right knee.
'We were told Archie was very lucky there was no long-term damage yet.
'He admitted the initial fracture diagnosis was a mistake and we had every right to be angry but we should concentrate on getting Archie back to full health.'
Despite having further appointments at Darent Valley’s fracture clinic, Mrs Eldridge says she 'does not trust the hospital'.
She added: 'I’ve got no confidence in them but have to go back because Archie started his treatment there.'
A Darent Valley Hospital spokesman said: 'We take complaints very seriously and we will be investigating.
'Once we have concluded our investigations, we will be writing to Mr and Mrs Eldridge with the results of our findings.'