"A&E - Misdiagnosed ruptured ACL"

About: Royal Bournemouth General Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

Following a sports injury, I was certain I had done some serious damage to my knee and immediately went to A&E. The receptionist was very helpful and the waiting time was better than expected. When I was seen, I fully explained details of the incident including that the knee had twisted, audiably crunched and given way. I specifically wanted to know whether I had damaged my knee ligaments. I was assured that this was not the case and that it was just a bad sprain and would be playing sports within a week or two. I quizzed as to what the crunching noise was and definitively told it could be some cartilage damage and go to your GP if you get knee locking. The staff stated that if I had done any ligament damage I wouldn't be able to walk/hobble. The time spent examining my knee was very brief and quickly diagnosed without any form of scan.

After no improvement within 3 months, I visited my GP who assessed it was likely ligament damage. I immediately sought specialist advice. During my initial consultation and examination I gave exactly the same information as that given to the A&E and immediately the specialist said that it sounded like a classic ACL rupture and sent me straight for an MRI scan. Following the MRI scan, I have now been diagnosed with a completly ruptured ACL and will require reconstructive surgery.

I am extremely concerned with the quality of care given at A&E. I feel my health has been put at risk and could have caused further damage due to the misdiagnosis and incorrect advise given.

This was an obvious case of ACL damage and should have been assessed correctly, erring on the side of caution.

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Response from James Rowden, Patient Engagement and Clinical Liaison, Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear ‘Screen999’

We are sorry to hear that you received a sports injury that has been troubling you for so long and required you to attend our Emergency Department.

Thank you for noting that your reception into the department and the waiting time were both positive but we are very sorry to hear that you are still suffering and the diagnosis you were given appears to have been inaccurate and given in haste.

As a Trust we are always concerned to hear when the advice or treatment given is ineffective or inaccurate and I have raised your concerns with the Emergency Department manager and Consultants.

They would like the opportunity to investigate further and have asked if you would make contact either directly with their office on 01202 704062 or through our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALs) on 01202 704886

Once again we apologise that your recovery has been delayed and hope that the new diagnosis from the specialist leads to swift treatment and recovery of you ACL Rupture.


Patient Engagement Team

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