Toddler’s broken leg not spotted by hospital staff

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A THREE-YEAR-OLD girl was left in agony for 48 hours after a hospital doctor insisted a broken leg was a simple sprain.

And when the tot’s parents asked why she wasn’t given a plaster cast and painkiller, they claim they were told: “If you were in Africa there wouldn’t be anything like that.”

This week, following an official complaint, hospital bosses apologised for the distress but DEFENDED most of their treatment of little Ellie Gibson, saying it is sometimes “difficult” to examine young children.

Ellie was taken to A and E after tripping over at playgroup.

She was in severe pain and refusing to put any weight on her leg, said her mum Rachel.

“We were there for five hours and Ellie was screaming in agony – so much that she needed two shots of morphine,” she said.

“They took two X-rays but both were of her hip, not her leg. Eventually, with Ellie still screaming, the doctor in charge, Mr Indluru, sent us home.

“He said it was ligament damage – a sprain. He told us we didn’t need a follow up appointment and we could buy paracetamol for the pain.”

But, said Rachel, a nurse followed the family out and was in tears at Ellie’s state.

“She urged us to make another appointment, despite what the doctor said,” said Rachel, who lives on Wavendon Gate.

Ellie spent the next two days crying in pain on the sofa, refusing to move or eat.

At the follow up appointment her family found out why – her shin was broken.

She was put in full plaster immediately, said Rachel.

She and her partner Jason met with hospital bosses to complain and were promised an investigation.

This week, with Ellie fresh out of plaster they received the official written response.

The letter states: “Mr Indluru felt that it was not possible to perform further examination manoeuvres such as moving the joints or attempting to persuade Ellie to walk due to the degree of distress she was in.”

It also excuses the doctor for not taking more X-rays of the leg by saying it could have caused an “unacceptable radiation dose”.

But it admits Ellie should have been admitted to a ward for further observation.

Hospital Nursing Director, Tony Halton, said: “When the hospital sees very young patients in a great deal of distress, sometimes it is not possible to identify the cause of the problem.

“Attempts are made to locate the problem, including the use of X-rays. However X-rays can only show injuries in a small area, and there is a limit to the number that can be carried out safely on a child.

“We apologise that in this case, the option of observation in the paediatric unit was not offered, which in retrospect may have been more appropriate.”