Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers A salutary lesson

Learning from our mistakes

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 16 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:177
  1. Kathy Ryan, former clinical assistant in accident and emergency
  1. Birkenhead.

    I made a mistake recently. I was working as a clinical assistant in accident and emergency and I missed a fracture. I missed it because I did not x ray the injured digit; I did not believe it to be fractured clinically.

    I was doing the dressing clinic when the sister appeared to warn me of a patient outside who was “hopping mad,” having been sent for an x ray examination by his GP. Pull the card, I said, feeling philosophical until I saw my own handwriting from seven weeks earlier. Should she get someone else to see him, asked the nurse. I resisted the temptation. …

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