Charles a young boy was rushed to hospital after falling from a climbing frame in the children’s play area of the local park. Charles complained to Doctor Green in the casualty department at the Wellington hospital, that he had injured his right leg and was in a great deal of pain. Doctor Green gave Charles a sedative to kill the pain and sent him for an X-ray of his right knee. The X-ray showed that Charles had suffered no serious injury to his knee and he was discharged and sent home with instructions to his parents to make sure that he rested his right leg and took it easy for a day or two.
Unfortunately, Charles was still in pain 5 days after the incident and his parents, Tom and Fay, fearing for his condition took him back to the Wellington hospital where he was diagnosed and treated for a hip injury and a lower back dislocation. Tom and Fay were advised by Doctor Green that Charles would need an immediate operation on his lower back to restore his back to its pre-accident condition. However, Doctor Green did not mention the risk of anything going wrong. Tom and Fay readily signed the consent form for the operation to go ahead and stayed with Charles in the hospital to give him all the support that he needed. The operation went ahead without any negligence on the part of Doctor Green but shortly afterward Charles was found to be paralyzed in his left leg due to a known if the unusual risk of the operation. .Charles was also found to have developed a condition called avascular necrosis in the region of his hip injury. This condition restricted the supply of blood to part of Charles’ hip. Tom and Fay were advised by Doctor Green that the condition could lead to an eventual deformity in the growth and development of their son’s hip. There was nothing that Doctor Green could do to treat this. Tom and Fay were later informed by a nurse who was looking after Charles that the condition was probably a result of the initial injury that Charles has suffered when he fell. .