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Nurses miss broken wrist, claims family

PUBLISHED: 13:28 10 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:04 03 March 2010

AN outraged mother has claimed Ipswich Hospital initially failed to spot her son's fractured wrist.

The incident happened when four-year-old Jonathon Augood put his hand inside the family washing machine, as it was spinning at high speed.

AN outraged mother has claimed Ipswich Hospital initially failed to spot her son's fractured wrist.

The incident happened when four-year-old Jonathon Augood put his hand inside the family washing machine, as it was spinning at high speed.

Mother Tracey and husband Jamie, of Handford Road, Ipswich, heard screams as they were sitting in the lounge. They rushed into the kitchen to find Jonathon holding his arm.

Mrs Augood said: "My son said he was going off to the loo but he went into the kitchen instead. He didn't realise the lock wasn't working on the washing machine.

"He opened the door when it was on the final spin and put his arm in. He screamed and my husband and I ran into the kitchen. He was holding his arm and he told us what he had done."

"He must have put his arm in and pulled it out straight away."

They took Jonathon to hospital immediately to have his arm seen to by nurses.

Mrs Augood said: "They didn't even x-ray him. They looked at the arm and said that he had pulled a ligament and sent him home with no bandage, sling or anything."

"They said that taking into consideration his age and the amounts of radiation that would be involved, they did not want to x-ray him. They said he seemed quite cheerful in himself."

But the pain did not go away and three days later Jonathon's mother turned to St John Ambulance volunteers for help.

She said: "I was in Felixstowe that day, and his arm was still hurting so I took him to St John Ambulance. They bandaged it up and said that they thought it was fractured."

So Mr Augood took Jonathon back to hospital the next day, and demanded an x-ray.

Mrs Augood said: "The nurse took the bandage off and told us that it could be broken. They x-rayed it and found that he had fractured his wrist."

But by this stage Jonathon's arm was so swollen that it was impossible for a full cast to be put on.

"They put a back slab cast on, because it was swollen so they could not put a full cast on," said Mrs Augood.

She said: "I am outraged at the way the hospital have treated us."

"He should have been x-rayed on the first day. It was obvious that something was wrong. If they had x-rayed it they could have seen what was wrong and would not have had to leave it over the weekend."

The family now tries to avoid using the washing machine when Jonathon is around.

Mrs Augood said: "I do the washing when he is not up and around now. I cannot afford a new washing machine. This one has been working perfectly well apart from the door not locking."

She added: "Jonathon seems quite cheerful in himself. He is going to be in plaster for the next five to six weeks but he is still playing with his brother and seems ok."

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said it was too early to judge what had happened, as the case had not yet been reviewed.

But she said: "We are obviously very concerned to learn about this. With injuries like this, it is sometimes difficult to diagnose."

"The senior clinicians are reviewing the case and we would welcome the family to get back in touch with us so we can talk to them in person."

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