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Cauda Equina Negligence and Red Flag Warnings

Cauda Equina Negligence and Red Flag Warnings

Medical professionals should know the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. Such is the severity of the long-term symptoms of this appalling condition that medical practitioners should be alert to any indication that a patient might be developing it. A failure to recognise the red flag symptoms or to warn a susceptible patient of them may be considered as negligent.

What are the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome?

The red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include the following:

  • Bilateral pain, tingling or numbness in the legs
  • Altered sensation or loss of sensation in the saddle area between the legs and around the anus
  • Alteration in urinary flow, having to strain to start to urinate or empty the bladder
  • Loss of bladder control or painless retention
  • Altered sensation during sexual intercourse

Why red flags matter

When the red flag symptoms do not appear to be present but a patient is exhibiting possible early signs of cauda equina syndrome, such as lower back pain and tingling or numbness in one of their legs, it is imperative that they are warned of the red flag symptoms. These are the symptoms which should prompt the patient to attend Accident and Emergency immediately. A delay may allow their condition to deteriorate still further and their chance of recovery be lost.

If a medical professional sends a patient with possible early CES symptoms home without advising them of the red flag symptoms, it is possible that the patient will take no action when those symptoms appear, not recognising the urgency of the situation. In these circumstances, the relevant medical professional may be considered to have acted negligently. If the patient suffers a poor long-term outcome due to any subsequent delay, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Long-term symptoms

A patient whose decompression surgery for cauda equina syndrome is delayed due to the failings of medical professionals may suffer a lifetime of incontinence and loss of mobility as a result.

The financial impact of such a situation can be devastating and a successful compensation claim can help the victim to deal with many of the problems they face.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are suffering the appalling effects of complete cauda equina syndrome because a medical practitioner failed to warn of the red flag symptoms, contact Glynns to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor about making a claim for compensation.

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

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