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Cauda Equina Misdiagnosis
Cauda Equina Surgery Delay Results in Over £1,000,000 Compensation

Cauda Equina Surgery Delay Results in Over £1,000,000 Compensation

Despite exhibiting red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, Sarah's MRI scan was delayed. By the time surgery was finally carried out, both her bowel and bladder had suffered permanent loss of function.

Attending a physiotherapy appointment, Sarah stated that she was experiencing lower back pain as well as numbness in the right buttock and right thigh.

Visiting her GP later that same day, it was noted that Sarah had some bowel difficulties as well as some tingling in the left leg. The GP carried out an examination and sent Sarah home with pain relief and an instruction to return for a review in two weeks or sooner if her symptoms worsened.

Unfortunately, Sarah's symptoms did start to deteriorate as she began to experience difficulty with her bladder function and the numbness around her groin had increased. Although Sarah had suffered some bowel and bladder difficulties in the past, she knew that these symptoms were different and a cause for concern.

Consequently, she decided to seek further help and rang her employer's health advisor who suggested that she should go to hospital. Understandably, this raised Sarah's anxiety levels.

On arrival at hospital, Sarah was examined by a doctor who advised her that she did not need to be admitted. Instead, he said that she should go home and return for an MRI scan in a couple of weeks.

In fact, Sarah was exhibiting symptoms of incomplete cauda equina syndrome by this time which should have warranted an emergency MRI scan rather than one two weeks later.

Sarah explained that, not only were her symptoms getting worse but she had lost control of her bowel that day. Eventually, it was agreed that she would be admitted to hospital.

An MRI scan was requested at around 4pm that afternoon but was not carried out as there was no availability. Despite the urgency of Sarah's situation, there was no attempt to transfer Sarah to another facility where it would have been possible to carry out the MRI scan that day.

Unfortunately, overnight, Sarah's symptoms continued to deteriorate and, by the following morning, she was unable to urinate and it was necessary for her to be catheterised. This would suggest that she was now suffering from complete cauda equina syndrome and that the extent of her recovery following surgery might be reduced.

Even so, she still did not undergo an MRI scan until the afternoon of that day. The results of her scan showed that she was suffering compression of her cauda equina nerves and required emergency decompression surgery.

Sarah was finally transferred to another hospital late that evening and underwent the surgery she needed the following day.

Unfortunately, the delays she had experienced meant that Sarah was left with poor bowel and bladder function. She has had to be fitted with a colostomy to facilitate bowel function and needs to self-catheterise in order to control her bladder function. She is also extremely limited in how far she can walk due to the pain in her legs.

Sarah's on-going symptoms have meant that continuing to work has proved impossible and she is no longer able to participate in many of the leisure activities she previously enjoyed.

Sarah approached Glynns for support in making a claim for compensation for her poor quality care and the extent to which she has been left disabled by her delayed surgery. Due to our investigation, the hospital responsible for her initial assessment acknowledged that they were responsible for the delay in organising surgery.

We are delighted that Sarah has now received over £1,000,000 in compensation for the permanent symptoms and difficulties she now has to endure due to a failure by her medical professionals to respond efficiently and appropriately to her red flag symptoms.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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