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Can I Sue a Hospital for Cauda Equina Delays?

Can I Sue a Hospital for Cauda Equina Delays?

Whether a delay is in diagnosis or surgery, it can have a catastrophic outcome for a patient with compressed cauda equina nerves.

The impact of a delay in cauda equina response

Cauda equina syndrome is a progressive condition and a delay in diagnosis and surgery may mean that a patient who retained some lower body function, has lost it by the time surgery is undertaken.

Such a delay may mean that the patient faces a lifetime of bowel and bladder incontinence as well as a loss of mobility. They may be unable to work and may require care support.

If medical professionals at hospital are responsible for such a delay, they may be regarded as having provided substandard care and it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Key hospital functions in CES diagnosis and treatment

  • Accident & Emergency examination: identifying red flag symptoms of cauda equina compression is essential if the patient is going to receive the necessary referral for an MRI scan. A failure to recognise the symptoms, a failure to carry out a thorough examination for red flags and a failure to warn a patient of those red flags may be considered to be negligent. Red flags for cauda equina syndrome would include altered saddle sensation and altered bladder sensation and function, as well as lower back and leg pain.
  • MRI scans: a patient with cauda equina syndrome may require an emergency MRI scan to confirm the underlying cause of their lower body symptoms. A delay by the hospital in organising an MRI scan may be regarded as negligent. Without the scan's confirmation of the patient's condition, surgery will not be carried out.
  • Decompression surgery: if a patient has incomplete cauda equina syndrome, where they still retain some bladder sensation (termed ‘painless retention'), they may require emergency surgery within a matter of hours to limit the risk of a deterioration in the condition. If surgery is delayed, the relevant medical practitioners may be regarded as negligent.

Speak to a specialist

If you or a loved one are struggling with the long-term impact of cauda equina syndrome due to poor-quality care in hospital, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation. This would address any financial losses caused by the negligence.

Contact us here at Glynns Solicitors to discuss your situation with a specialist medical negligence solicitor. There is no fee for an initial inquiry.

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

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