Orthopaedic trauma surgeon: expert witness credentials

22 May 2019

Mr Ash Vasireddy is a full-time fellowship-trained Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon at King’s College Hospital, which is one of the busiest major trauma centres in the U.K. He qualified at Guy’s, King’s & St. Thomas’ Medical School and completed his orthopaedic training on the prestigious London South East Thames Rotation. He is instructed regularly as an expert witness for both personal injury and medical negligence claims.

In this, the first of a series of four articles, Mr Vasireddy discusses the role of an Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon and the valuable contribution they offer as an expert witness. An Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon is uniquely placed to provide excellent reports as they have a real grasp of the complexity of an injury. This means they can make accurate prognoses and recommendations based on their day-to-day experience and awareness of the latest evidence as opposed to orthopaedic surgeons who usually have far less experience of complex injuries.

Trauma and orthopaedic surgeons diagnose and treat all kinds of injuries affecting the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in any part of the body – from minor fractures to severely broken bones that pose a direct threat to a patient’s life. Medicolegal cases that require a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon may involve road traffic accidents or accidents in the workplace and include patients who have sustained high-energy impact injuries.

Medical negligence claims usually follow as a result of alleged lack of treatment or care or because of a missed diagnosis. In cases involving emergency care, there are a series of key moments and decisions that may affect the outcome of the patient involved. A trauma and orthopaedic surgeon acting as an expert witness will be able to assess the preliminary diagnosis and treatment given to a patient at the scene of the index event or accident.

Mr Vasireddy is able to go one step further than an orthopaedic surgeon because of his experience in the pre-hospital environment. He is able to give consideration and opinion of the management of a patient’s transfer to hospital and the appropriateness of the choice of hospital in relation to the injuries sustained by the patient. A detailed assessment will be conducted of the treatment provided both by the first responders and on admission to hospital, including key areas such as the effective management of any pain and how the fractures were initially managed.

It’s worth noting the work of an orthopaedic trauma surgeon is not only focused on the immediate treatment of a fractured bone. Specialist Orthopaedic trauma surgeons are also involved in the definitive management of fractures and the follow-up care of the injured patient(s). For example an assessment and opinion of whether the injured limb has regained its original strength and maximum function is another key part of their work. Factors that may have impeded recovery can also be evaluated and addressed.

The specialist skills of a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon allow the determination of the extent to which a patient could have been expected to recover use of an injured limb vs their actual recovery. This is very important, particularly in terms of discussions of quantum and their ability to return to key aspects of their life such as employment and to what level.

Clients working with Mr Vasireddy have commented on the quality of the detail and analysis in his reports, his personable approach and his obvious breadth of knowledge and skills across a range of medical specialities as a highly skilled first responder and clinician in a major trauma centre used to treating a vast range of injuries in addition to his complex surgical lists.

Mr Vasireddy is available for instruction through Medicolegal Partners. He specialises in the management of complex open and closed pelvic, acetabular, upper limb and lower limb fractures and amputations. He is also a HEMS (Air Ambulance) Pre-hospital Care Doctor.This combined and unique skill-set and experience of regularly treating patients in life- threatening and time-critical situations such as road traffic accidents and construction site injuries sees him highly qualified to report on a variety of medico legal cases.

Mr Vasireddy has consultation rooms in London and Essex and is available in most cases for domiciliary visits in London and the South East.

In his next article Mr Vasireddy considers how major trauma centres have played a pivotal role in improving the survival rate amongst major trauma patients in England.

To instruct him please contact Medicolegal Partners on 0207 118 0650 or email us at info@medicolegal-partners.com.