Shania's pain not eased by hospital

PUBLISHED: 19:00 26 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

A MUM who named her daughter after pop star Shania Twain, today said: "That don't impress me much" after Ipswich Hospital failed to spot the tot's broken leg.

A MUM who named her daughter after pop star Shania Twain, today said: "That don't impress me much" after Ipswich Hospital failed to spot the tot's broken leg.

Lorraine Clarke said the pop idol's lyrics aptly summed up the situation, after her 20-month-old daughter Shania's injury went unnoticed.

An investigation was launched at the hospital, after the Evening Star brought the alleged error to bosses' attention.

Mrs Clarke took the toddler to the A&E department, after she fell over at home and couldn't bear any weight on her right foot.

They were quickly seen by a triage nurse to assess the seriousness of the injury, who gave Shania a dose of a popular children's medicine, and then three hours later a doctor arrived.

Mrs Clarke said the doctor looked at Shania's leg, declared it was bruised and said she should be able to walk on it within 24 hours.

No x-rays were taken and Mrs Clarke was advised to return if there was no improvement.

But after a weekend of tears, little Shania, who is too young to express her pain in words, was still unable to stand and her leg was swollen and hot.

A return trip to A&E –with another three-hour wait, and x-rays this time - revealed a broken bone in her lower leg.

The tot – who was the last ever baby to be born at Ipswich Hospital in the last century (two hours before midnight on New Year's Eve 1999) now has her leg in a plaster cast.

Mrs Clarke, 33, of Reynolds Road, is planning to officially complain about the mistaken diagnosis on September 7.

She is also anxious that other parents don't hesitate to ask for a second opinion.

She said: "Shania was in extreme pain over a weekend, unable to tell me how much pain because of her young age, but I had no reason to question the doctor's diagnosis.

"I was extremely upset to see my little girl in such pain and in hindsight, I wish I had insisted on an x-ray being done in the first instance, but I trusted the doctor concerned.

"I feel guilty too, because Shania's the youngest of my seven children, and they were all running around her and her leg got bumped, but I only thought it was bruised."

"If parents of young children are in any doubt about the diagnosis they are given, I would urge them to get a second opinion so their child doesn't have to go through the agony that Shania did."

A spokesman for Ipswich Hospital said: "We are very concerned to learn of this serious incident and would urge Mrs Clarke to get in touch with us straight away.

"Meanwhile, we are investigating the incident in full, as a matter of urgency, and any lessons we can learn from this will be put in hand immediately."

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