"Sent home from A&E with a broken neck"

About: East Surrey Hospital

I have a back condition and my spine is very stiff, so when I slipped and fell flat on my back, I was very concerned that I may have seriously damaged it. An ambulance took me to A&E at East Surrey Hospital. There I explained to everyone about my concern about my spine, and I explained at length about why I believed my spine was vulnerable to damage. The Doctors kept me in for 30 hours, and gave me xrays and a CT scan, and I was eventually assured that there was no damage to my spine and I was sent home. Thankfully I asked my Rheumatology Consultant at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath to have a look at my xrays and scan. He did this and immediately he spotted I had fractured a vertebra. So I went to see the Orthopaedic Consultant at East Surrey Hospital, he had another xray taken, and immediately spotted that the fracture in my neck was so unstable that it was unsafe for me to even go home. I was admitted immediately and four days later he operated to put a plate in my neck. Had I not gone for the second opinion, and just taken what the A&E told me, then I could either be a quadriplegic or even dead.

Story from NHS Choices

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