Man discharged with painkillers after doctors failed to diagnose broken neck

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A man escaped lifelong paralysis after being discharged from a Cardiff hospital with a broken neck which physicians failed to diagnose.

Misdiagnosis

The 40 year old man, was taken to Glangwili General Hospital in Carmarthen after he was allegedly assaulted.

Although he was given medical scans, he was sent home 8 hours later with what doctors described as a "trapped nerve."

However, the landscape gardener was forced to return to hospital 5 days later with numbness and pins and needles in his arms.

Told that he needed immediate treatment for a broken neck, the father of 3 was taken to a specialist spine unit in Cardiff. He spent a further week recovering at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

Unable to work or drive for at least 3 months, he was told he was lucky to be walking and that the error could have left him paralysed for life.

"[Doctors] rushed me straight to the spinal unit in Cardiff and I had to have an operation to fix my neck," said the man. "With a young family I was really scared… I could have been left in a wheelchair for the rest of my life."

Hywel Dda Local Health Board are investigating doctors' failure to diagnose the man's broken neck and the reasons why he was permitted to return home.

A spokeswoman said: "The health board cannot comment further at this time as a full investigation is ongoing."

This case is just one example of how medical treatment errors can have devastating consequences; thankfully in this case the man will be able to walk again.


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