Father-of-two, 36, who banged his head on holiday claims he was given PARACETAMOL for his broken neck and doctors dismissed his crippling pain for 3 months.
A father-of-two claims he was given paracetamol for his broken neck after doctors dismissed his crippling pain for three months.
Anton Frolov, 36, was swimming on holiday when he banged his head on the seabed in Phuket, Thailand, and fractured his neck.
Despite being given the all-clear while on holiday, he decided to visit his local A&E two days later when he returned home to Edenbridge, Kent.
Mr Frolov was transferred to Tunbridge Wells Hospital for further care – but claims he was sent home with mild painkillers and no further tests.
His pain worsened and advice from his physiotherapist to strengthen the muscles in his spine by visiting the gym caused irreversible damage, unbeknown to him.
Three months later it was finally revealed that Mr Frolov had fractured his neck after he decided to go through his private health insurance.
Mr Frolov claims he was then told his neck bone was pressing on his spinal cord, which could have left him paralysed or killed him at any moment.
He is now suing the hospital trust, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, for not conducting an X-ray when he first went to hospital.
Mr Frolov needed two titanium bolts to fix two cervical vertebrae together, leaving him with limited rotational movement of the neck.
The chartered aviation businessman, speaking for the first time about his painstaking ordeal in 2015, claims this operation has left him feeling disabled.
Mr Frolov said: ‘I had been going to the gym to try and strengthen the muscles in my neck but I was actually risking my life.
‘I was in daily pain and the only pain relief I had was paracetamol and co-codamol.
‘Three months after banging my head on the seabed I was still having pain so I decided to pay privately to get my spine checked.
‘Once I’d had an X-ray the osteopath called me and said I had to go to hospital immediately as I had an unstable fracture in my neck.
‘It’s a bit crazy to be called and told your neck is broken, especially as I had been walking around with it for so long.
‘I was told the broken neck bone was pushing against my spinal cord, something which could have punctured it at any time and caused life-long paralysis.’
He added: ‘I needed surgery and had two titanium bolts used to fix two cervical vertebrae together, leaving me with limited rotational movement of the neck.
‘I feel all of this could have been prevented if I’d had an X-ray when I first went to hospital in the UK.
‘The surgeon told me that my original fracture could have been fixed with just a neck brace but as I’d been pulling my neck at the gym the bone had moved around.’
Mr Frolov was pulled from the sea by onlookers after banging his head on the seabed in Thailand during April 2015.
After being given the all clear by a local hospital abroad, his wife Ekaterina, 34, decided to drive him straight to Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital from the airport.
But it was at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, where he was transferred to, that he claims he was dismissed by doctors who stated his neck wasn’t broken.
Mr Frolov said: ‘I was sent home by the hospital with them telling me there was no fracture.
‘I guess when you are a patient you hope to hear good news, and in a way the fact that nobody seemed too concerned was quite reassuring to me. It just made me think I was worrying over nothing.
‘When health professionals tell you everything is ok, you take their word for it. They’re the experts and you trust them.
‘I then went to see my GP a couple of days later and he referred me to a physiotherapist to try and lessen the pain.’
He added: ‘After finally having surgery I was told I’d been extremely fortunate and that it was something of a miracle to be walking around, as because of the fracture and the position of the broken bone, I could have been paralysed at any moment.
‘If I had gone a few more days without it being discovered, I don’t like to think what could have happened because I was told it was getting more dangerous day after day.’
Hudgell Solicitors allege Tunbridge Wells Hospital breached its duty of care in not carrying out its own X-ray, resulting in a delayed diagnosis.
This led to Mr Frolov needing a neurosurgical operation to reposition and fix the bone with bolts.
Solicitor Sue Jackson said: ‘This is a shocking case where a failure as simple as not taking an x-ray could have had life-long consequences, and perhaps even fatal.
‘Given our client’s injury history… and the fact there was no copy of the x-ray taken in Thailand, we argue that Tunbridge Wells Hospital should have conducted full and thorough checks, including its own x-rays.
‘Even though Mr Frolov was fortunate not to suffer serious, life-changing injuries as a result of this error, he has still suffered hugely and it has had a big impact on his quality of life.
‘Following surgery in which he had two bolts inserted to strengthen his neck, he has been left with restricted movement and the prospect of suffering pain for the rest of his life.’
Mr Frolov who has two young boys, Misha, five and Daniel, one, said he feels fortunate to have dodged death twice and is now able to move on with life.
He said: ‘I thought it was the end for me in Thailand when I hit the seabed as all of a sudden I was face down in the water and I couldn’t move myself.
‘I remember being conscious and having the time to think that I was about 30 seconds away from dying unless somebody helped me and turned me over.
‘Then, having walked around with a broken neck for three months, and with what I have been told could have happened, it has made me feel fortunate to still be here. I could have died twice, so in that sense, I guess I have been lucky.’
A Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust spokesperson said: ‘We investigated Mr Frolov’s complaint in 2015 and sent him an explanation of what happened and what we have learned from this case.’ – Mailonline
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