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Cauda Equina
Accident and Emergency and CES Red Flag Negligence

Accident and Emergency and CES Red Flag Negligence

If a patient is sent home from Accident and Emergency with deteriorating symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Attending Accident and Emergency

The symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can be so distressing as to prompt an individual to attend their local Accident and Emergency department. It is essential that their symptoms are recognised at this point in order to avoid a deterioration to permanent disability.

If an A&E practitioner has any suspicion that a patient may be developing cauda equina syndrome or any doubt as to their diagnosis of the patient's symptoms, they should seek further specialist advice. A failure to investigate a patient's possible CES symptoms fully may leave the patient with incontinence and loss of mobility. It may also justify a claim for compensation against the relevant hospital.

Cauda equina syndrome red flags

Red flag symptoms in a patient with lower back pain, which could justify further investigation, an emergency MRI scan and specialist consultation would include the following:

  • Bilateral radiating leg symptoms of pain and altered sensation such as tingling or numbness
  • Altered sensation in the perineal and perianal symptoms around the saddle area
  • Altered genital sensation or sexual function
  • Altered urinary experience such as a poor flow or having to strain to empty the bladder
  • Altered awareness of needing to urinate

A failure to examine the patient for any of these signs or symptoms, or a failure to warn a patient of the development of red flag symptoms may also be regarded as negligent care.

When to claim compensation

If a medical practitioner delays the diagnosis and treatment of a patient with cauda equina syndrome, due, for example, to a failure to recognise the significance of the symptoms, they may be regarded as having provided substandard care.

If the patient suffers a worse outcome because their condition has deteriorated significantly during the period of delay, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation. This could take into account financial losses such as reduced income due to the patient's disability which would not have developed but for the negligence.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are struggling with the permanent impact of a delay in treating cauda equina syndrome, contact Glynns Solicitors to talk to a specialist lawyer about the suitability of making a claim.

Remember that compensation claims for medical negligence need to be initiated within three years of the date of the alleged negligence.

If you or a loved one are struggling with the appalling impact of this condition due to medical negligence, contact us to speak with a specialist medical negligence solicitor about your situation.

Please call us on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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