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Cauda Equina
Can I Make a Claim for CES Delays?

Can I Make a Claim for CES Delays?

If the medical management of your cauda equina syndrome has left you with on-going symptoms such as bowel incontinence, it might be appropriate for you to make a claim for compensation.

Cauda equina syndrome outcomes

Timing of diagnosis and surgery for cauda equina syndrome are frequently crucial in ensuring that the patient makes as good a recovery as possible.

A delay at any stage of the process can have a dramatic impact on the patient's long-term physical, psychological and financial outcome.

If the patient is left with complete cauda equina syndrome, they may suffer a range of distressing and debilitating symptoms including the following:

  • Inability to prevent the passing of faeces
  • Inability to prevent the passing of wind
  • Loss of bladder sensation and control when urinating
  • Loss of sexual function
  • Loss of mobility in the lower body

If a poor long-term outcome is considered to be due to the failings of medical professionals, a compensation claim might be a helpful way forward.

Cauda equina syndrome delays

A delay in a patient accessing surgery for cauda equina decompression can occur at a number of stages and for a variety of reasons:

  • The GP may not recognise the sinister implications of the patient's symptoms and, therefore, fail to make an emergency referral, or indeed any referral at all. We have had clients who have been sent home with pain relief when they should have been sent straight to Accident and Emergency
  • The GP may rightly consider that the patient's symptoms do not warrant an emergency referral but fail to advise the patient of the red flag symptoms of this appalling condition. This may mean that the patient does not take the appropriate action (an immediate visit to Accident and Emergency) should these symptoms develop
  • The hospital may delay carrying out an MRI scan due to lack of equipment or personnel. In these circumstances, the patient should be transferred to an alternative provision
  • The results of the MRI scan may be delayed before reporting back to the relevant professional, thereby delaying the organisation of surgery
  • Surgery itself may be delayed

A compensation claim, however, would not be appropriate if delays in the management of the patient's cauda equina syndrome did not affect the long-term outcome.

If it is considered that the patient's outcome would have been the same regardless of the medical delays, a compensation claim is unlikely to be a helpful way forward. This may well be the case if the patient's symptoms were already significantly advanced at the point when they first attended their GP.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are suffering with the on-going symptoms of cauda equina syndrome due to delays in diagnosis or treatment, contact us to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

We have undertaken numerous high-value cauda equina syndrome claims and will be very happy to help you.

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

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