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Can I Sue the NHS for Double Incontinence due to Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Can I Sue the NHS for Double Incontinence due to Cauda Equina Syndrome?

If your surgery for cauda equina syndrome was delayed, meaning that you now struggle with both bowel and bladder problems, it might be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Why cauda equina syndrome can cause double incontinence

Cauda equina syndrome refers to a condition where compression of the cauda equina nerves at the base of the back is causing loss of function in the lower body.

The cauda equina nerves pass messages of sensation and movement between the brain and the lower body including the pelvic organs such as the bowel and bladder. Consequently, if the nerves are damaged, they cannot successfully pass on messages of sensation to the brain or initiate movement in the muscles.

This can result in a range of unpleasant and debilitating symptoms including the following:

  • Loss of awareness of needing to urinate
  • Loss of sensation when urinating
  • Difficulty initiating and completing urination
  • Incontinence of urine
  • Loss of sensation around the anus
  • Loss of control of the bowel, causing incontinence

Diagnosing cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome can develop and worsen over time, meaning that the earlier your symptoms are correctly diagnosed, the better chance there is of recovering function or, at least, not deteriorating further.

This also means that if medical professionals have an opportunity to diagnose your condition but fail to do so, you are in a vulnerable position. If your condition then deteriorates before a diagnosis is finally achieved, the relevant medical practitioner may be regarded as having acted negligently. If you are left with debilitating and life-changing problems, it may be suitable to make a claim for compensation.

Timing of surgery

The key to an improved outcome seems to be to undergo surgery before losing bladder sensation.

Therefore, if a patient attends either their GP or Accident and Emergency with symptoms which indicate cauda equina syndrome but the patient still has some bladder sensation, it might be considered to be a medical emergency.

Legal advice

If your medical practitioner failed to act urgently on these symptoms, they might be regarded as negligent. If your long-term outcome has been compromised by medical delays, leaving you with double incontinence, you should obtain specialist legal advice.

Contact Glynns Solicitors. We are a long-established medical negligence legal practice and one of our specialist solicitors will be very happy to discuss your experience with you.

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