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Cauda Equina
CES: I Went From Incomplete to Complete While In Hospital

CES: I Went From Incomplete to Complete While In Hospital

If you progressed from incomplete cauda equina syndrome to complete cauda equina syndrome while you were awaiting treatment in hospital, there could be a case of medical negligence. Contact us at Glynns Solicitors to find out more.

What is incomplete cauda equina syndrome?

Incomplete cauda equina syndrome is the first stage of the condition. It means that the patient's nerves have become compressed and damaged, and this has resulted in neurological dysfunction.

This will include urinary problems, such as poor flow and reduced sensation in the urethra. However, the patient will still be able to feel if their bladder is full, and will still be able to expel some urine from their body on a voluntary basis.

What is complete cauda equina syndrome?

Complete cauda equina syndrome is the second and final stage of the condition. It means the patient's nerves have become so damaged by the compression that they are severely injured.

The neurological dysfunction will be very similar to that suffered with incomplete cauda equina syndrome, but the patient will not be able to feel their bladder or urinate voluntarily. That is why complete CES is often called 'cauda equina syndrome in retention', because urine is being held in the bladder. It only leaves the body when the bladder has become so full it overflows, leading to incontinence.

Why does cauda equina syndrome need to be treated while incomplete?

For the best outcome, cauda equina syndrome needs to be treated in the incomplete stage. This is because the nerves have not yet become seriously injured and so the patient stands a better chance of making a recovery.

Therefore if a patient presents to hospital and he/she has incomplete cauda equina syndrome, emergency decompression surgery must be carried out.

Progressing from incomplete to complete in a medical setting

What must not happen is that the patient is discharged home, or that the patient is left waiting on a hospital ward. The longer decompression surgery is delayed, the more damage the nerves will sustain and the more likely it is that the patient will develop complete cauda equina syndrome.

If the patient does progress to complete cauda equina syndrome while awaiting treatment, the standard of care will be deemed unacceptable. It can be argued that medical practitioners should have operated on the patient sooner, and this would have prevented him/her from suffering complete cauda equina syndrome and a poor outcome.

Speak to a solicitor

If you believe your decompression surgery was negligently delayed, please contact our medical negligence solicitors today.

Call us now for a free, no obligation assessment on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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