A common enquiry we receive regarding A&E departments relates to a delay in diagnosing a fracture. A patient attends their local A&E department, let us say with a painful and swollen ankle following a fall. It is diagnosed as a sprain and the patient is discharged. However, pain continues and they go back 10 days later when an x-ray reveals a fracture. It is likely to be a breach of duty by A&E in failing to do an x-ray the first time. Whether this gives rise to a claim is doubtful as the 10 day delay may not make very much difference to the treatment or the outcome, but, if it did, a claim could arise. See Do I Have a Claim?

In other cases it may be that an x-ray has been taken but that when the x-ray has been examined the break or fracture has been missed by the A&E doctor.