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Can I Sue the NHS for Cauda Equina Paralysis?

Can I Sue the NHS for Cauda Equina Paralysis?

The timing of diagnosis and the timing of surgery are both crucial in cauda equina syndrome. With a late diagnosis or delayed surgery, a patient may face a lifetime of disability. They may suffer loss of bowel function, loss of bladder function, loss of sexual function and loss of mobility.

Cauda equina syndrome failings

Cauda equina syndrome is relatively rare but it is recognised as sometimes being a medical emergency and medical professionals should be able to identify the symptoms or know what to look for in a patient who is suffering lower back and leg pain.

If medical professionals cause a delay in diagnosis or surgery, and if the patient is left with worse long-term symptoms as a result of that delay, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

  • A GP or Accident and Emergency practitioner may fail to examine a patient for the red flag symptoms of cauda equina dysfunction, thereby failing to recognise the severity of the patient's condition
  • The medical professional may identify the patient's symptoms but fail to understand the urgency of the required response, thereby causing a delay in the patient undergoing an MRI scan a, leading to a delay in diagnosis and surgery
  • A lack of MRI facilities may delay diagnosis still further.
  • Surgery may be delayed due to lack of understanding, lack of staff or lack of facilities.

Deterioration in cauda equina syndrome

A key aspect of cauda equina syndrome which leads to the need for an emergency response is that fact that it is a progressive condition. In most cases, the patient's nerve compression and loss of function is likely to get worse over time and a surgical response is necessary at as early a stage of the condition as possible. Every delay can allow the patient's condition to deteriorate and their long-term prognosis to worsen.

The cauda equina nerves pass messages of sensation and movement between the brain and the lower body. Consequently, if those nerves become compressed and lose function, the individual will suffer loss of sensation and loss of movement in the lower body.

This can result in double incontinence and paralysis in the legs.

Medical negligence

A medical professional who has failed to recognise, diagnose, refer or manage the treatment of a cauda equina patient effectively may be regarded as having provided negligent care.

If the patient suffers a poor long-term outcome as a result of the medical professional's poor quality care, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are suffering the shocking impact of cauda equina syndrome due to medical failings, contact Glynns Solicitors today to talk to a specialist in medical negligence compensation claims.

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

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