Mechanic’s hand turned black after it was mangled in machine as he worked on car

A mechanic’s hand turned black after it was mangled in a machine as he worked on a car’s brakes.

Jamie Keefe, 26, was rushed to hospital in Birmingham following the incident in 2018, with doctors cleaning the wound and sending the 26-year-old home with antibiotics.

But days later, the skin on Jamie's hand started turning black with infection and he was rushed back to hospital.

Surgeons stepped in and managed to save his hand by cutting away the dead skin and grafting tissue from his thigh.

Since the dreadful accident Jamie, from Dudley, West Midlands, has almost completely lost feeling in his hand – having only 10% function in it – which has forced him to give up his dream job.

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees Heartlands Hospital where Jamie was initially seen, has since admitted responsibility.

This week Jamie was awarded an undisclosed settlement from the NHS.

He believes if doctors had acted sooner and not sent him home, he would not have been forced to give up work.

He said: “My hand was in a mess, so I was extremely shocked when I was sent home from hospital with a follow up appointment.

“When I was at home my hand didn’t seem to be improving and was in a really bad way, so I thought it was best to seek another opinion.

“I couldn’t believe it when I was told the true extent of my injuries and what needed to be done.

“It was difficult being in hospital in the lead up to Christmas. When everyone else was getting on with life and enjoying themselves I was worrying about my hand and the future.

“The hardest thing to try and accept is how life has changed. Even simple things like trying to fasten a button on a shirt or a zip on a coat are really difficult.

“I know nothing can ever make up for what’s happened and the last few years but it’s reassuring that I can continue with my recovery.

“It means that I can try and look to the future rather than dwell on the past. It means that Christmas will be a lot better this year.

“However, by speaking out I just hope that others don’t have to go through what I have. Nothing will change what I've been through, but I just hope that the NHS can learn lessons so that no one else faces the problems that I have."

Jennifer Shipley, medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who represented Jamie, said: “The last few years and trying to come to terms with how his injuries have impacted upon Jamie’s life have been incredibly difficult for him.

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“He has vastly reduced function in his right hand – his dominant hand – meaning not only has he been forced to give up the job he loved but also struggles to carry out tasks most people take for granted.

“While nothing can make up for what he has been through we welcome the Trust’s admission and apology, allowing Jamie to access the specialist support he requires.

“However, it’s also vital that lessons are learned to improve patient safety for others.”

A spokesperson for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust always strives to deliver the safest and most appropriate care to all of our patients and takes learning from cases such as this seriously and we are sorry that Mr Keefe did not receive the care he should have done on this occasion."

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