Failure to spot Lee Pearson's spinal injury

Posted by Kym Provan on

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As a result, Mr Pearson has missed out on selection for the Para-Equestrian Dressage European Championships in September this year.

This will be the first time that he has been unable to compete in a major event in twelve years.  However, he is confident that he will recover in time for the Paralympics and is thoroughly looking forward to competing. Given his past record in competitive events, I am sure that Mr Pearson will be back in the saddle and on top of his game very shortly. I wish him a speedy recovery and the best of luck going forward.

From a personal perspective I find it appalling that it took almost two weeks to discover the fractures to Mr Pearson's spine. He reports that the horse was galloping and jumping at the time of the fall, and that for the first twelve hours after the accident he "felt as if I was dying".  Surely after such a fall, hospitals should be far more certain that the patient has no significant injury before sending them home.  Fortunately the fractures have remained stable on this occasion. However if the fractures had displaced as a result of Mr Pearson's mobilising and riding after the accident, the consequences could potentially have been far worse. 

Sadly though from a professional perspective, through my experience as a clinical negligence solicitor, I am not particularly shocked at the delay in diagnosis. Unfortunately such mistakes are not that uncommon and sometimes lead to catastrophic and permanent injuries that could otherwise have been avoided. 

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About the Author

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Kym specialises in clinical negligence claims and heads our clinical negligence team in Southampton.

Kym Provan
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023 8085 7317

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