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Cauda Equina Syndrome - Delayed Surgery Claims

Cauda Equina Syndrome - Delayed Surgery Claims

Cauda equina syndrome medical negligence claims usually focus on delays in diagnosis and /or surgery. When has negligence occurred and why does it matter?

What is cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome is a condition that can develop when the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spinal cord become squashed or compressed. This means that those nerves will probably not function as they should.

The cauda equina nerves control sensation and function in the pelvic region and lower limbs so when they are damaged, they can cause significant impairment to the patient's ability to function. This can affect bowel function, urinary function, sexual function and movement in the lower body legs and feet.

Why does timing matter in cauda equina syndrome?

Timing is usually key in medical negligence claims because the degree of severity of the patient's symptoms can deteriorate as the cauda equina nerves become more compressed or damaged. There is no strict timeline for when this might occur and therefore, the sooner the patient is treated, the better the outcome is likely to be.

Additionally, it is generally considered that, when a patient undergoes decompression surgery to ease the pressure on the nerves, there is likely to be a far better outcome if the patient continues to retain some control of their urinary function at the time of surgery.

At this point there is evidence to suggest that surgery within 24 to 48 hours improves the likelihood of a good outcome. Earlier surgery may further improve these chances.

When has negligence occurred?

If surgery is delayed beyond what is considered reasonable and the patient seems to have deteriorated during that delay to the point where their long-term outcome is then likely to be worse, they may have been the victim of medical negligence.

If the patient has already lost urinary control when they present to their medical practitioner or A&E, prompt surgery is still thought to be desirable but the key moment regarding timing may have passed.

A delay in undertaking surgery is not necessarily the fault of the hospital involved. It may be that the patient's GP failed to recognise or warn of the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, meaning that, by the time the patient attended hospital, it was already too late to achieve a positive outcome from surgery.

Speak to a solicitor

Glynns Solicitors is a specialist medical negligence legal practice. We have considerable experience of supporting successful cauda equina syndrome claims. If you would like to discuss your experience of cauda equina syndrome with a view to making a claim for compensation, we will be happy to help.

Contact a medical negligence solicitor

Claims for negligence related to cauda equina syndrome are complex. If you feel your cauda equina syndrome may have been impacted by substandard care, contact Glynns Solicitors to discuss your concerns with a specialist medical negligence solicitor. We have extensive experience of supporting claims for cauda equina syndrome negligence.

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

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