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Can I Sue My GP for Missing Cauda Equina Red Flags?

Can I Sue My GP for Missing Cauda Equina Red Flags?

If your GP missed the symptoms caused by cauda equina nerve compression, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

The significance of red flags

Compression of the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine can cause significant lower body dysfunction. If your medical practitioner fails to assess you for the red flag symptoms of this condition, or fails to recognise their significance, they may be guilty of medical negligence.

In the early stages of cauda equina syndrome, you may only be suffering from lower back and leg pain. This could be caused by sciatica. However, if other symptoms are present, it may indicate that your problems are being caused by compression of the cauda equina nerves. If this is the case, you may require an emergency MRI scan followed by emergency surgery. If your medical practitioner delays taking the necessary action, your condition may deteriorate. The level of compression of the nerves may increase and your degree of dysfunction may increase likewise.

Red flags which a medical professional should check for and which might necessitate a referral for an emergency MRI scan would include the following:

  • Altered urinary experience such as having to strain
  • Reduced sensation of needing to urinate
  • Numbness around the anus and buttocks
  • Altered sensation in the saddle area
  • Tingling or numbness in both legs

If these symptoms are present but there is a delay in a medical response, you may face a lifetime of double incontinence and loss of mobility.

Warning of red flags

Even where no red flag symptoms are present, it is essential that your medical practitioner warns of their possible development. This is to ensure that, should these symptoms develop, as they may well do, you attend Accident and Emergency immediately. You may need to undergo surgery within hours and a delay could leave you with permanent symptoms.

Medical negligence

If your medical practitioner fails to recognise your red flag symptoms or fails to warn you of them, they may be regarded as having provided only substandard care.

However, it would only be appropriate to make a claim for compensation if the negligence caused on-going symptoms which would not otherwise have developed.

Claiming compensation

Cauda equina syndrome is a complex condition and compensation claims related to it can be equally complicated.

If you or a loved one are struggling with the appalling symptoms of cauda equina syndrome due to poor medical care, contact Glynns Solicitors. We are a specialist medical negligence legal practice with extensive expertise in cauda equina syndrome claims.

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

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