Wrist fracture fixed in Honduras

A Cayman Islands man claims he got so fed-up with trying to have his fractured wrist treated in Cayman that he flew to Honduras to have it dealt with.

Marco Duarte, 59, fractured his wrist when a branch fell on it doing gardening work 5 September.

Mr. Duarte held off getting treatment on the 5th, but after his wrist grew more painful, he went to George Town Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Unit at around 11.30pm the following day.

There he was sent for X-rays.

‘He told me he could see some crack – a fracture – and he told me I needed to see an orthopaedist, but he told me I couldn’t see an orthopaedist until the 14th.’

Mr. Duarte said he was not told why he needed to see an orthopaedist to re-set and plaster his wrist and he did not question hospital staff on it.

Mr. Duarte said he was given pain killers but his wrist was not treated. He was told to return to the hospital for blood tests the following morning, he said.

Mr. Duarte returned the following morning for blood tests and that by this time his wrist was in severe pain.

After getting his blood tests, he decided to visit the hospital’s physiotherapy department to see if they could treat his wrist. There, a splint was put on his wrist, he explained.

Mr. Duarte left the hospital for Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital, but was told there was no orthopaedist that could fix his fracture.

‘They told me the orthopaedic had quit and went to work for government.’

In a statement CTMH said a receptionist does remember speaking to a man who requested to see an orthopaedist for treatment of a broken wrist.

‘He was informed that we did not have an orthopedist on staff and was referred to the Cayman Orthopaedic Group.’

At Cayman Orthopaedic Group Mr. Duarte says he was told no orthopaedist would be able to see him until 1pm 14 September – a full week’s time.

Mr. Duarte’s employer, Janet Walker, called the practice back Monday, 10 September and was told he could be fitted into that day’s schedule.

But by that time Mr. Duarte had become fed-up and was about to board a flight to La Ceiba, in his native Honduras.

‘I couldn’t take the pain. My fingers were swelling and it was starting to get red.’

Within 45 minutes of leaving La Ceiba airport, Mr. Duarte was seen by an orthopaedic practice and had his fractured wrist re-set and plastered.

In a statement the HSA denied Mr. Duarte’s account. They say the ER physician applied the splint, provided adequate treatment and that the appointment on the 14th was a follow up appointment.

‘The HSA has two full-time Orthopaedic Surgeons on staff and had the individual returned to the HSA he would have been provided the medically necessary follow-up care for his injury,’ read the HSA statement.

The statement further claims Mr. Duarte actually sustained the injury two-weeks prior to presenting to the hospital’s accident and Emergency Unit.

Mr. Duarte and Mrs. Walker said the two week claim was bizarre.

Asked if the experience came as a surprise, Mr. Duarte said ‘Everybody should be surprised of that, I tell you. Of course it was a surprise.

“I tell you, if you’ve got to go through with these pains all the time, it’s not good.”

Mr. Duarte is due to have his cast removed this week.

Said Mrs. Walker, “It is unbelievable that this should be the situation in the Cayman Islands.”