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Cauda Equina
CESI to CESR: Negligence and Compensation Claims

CESI to CESR: Negligence and Compensation Claims

If a patient is developing cauda equina syndrome, it is essential that every effort is made to diagnose and treat their condition whilst it is still at the 'incomplete' state.

If failings by medical professionals allow the patient to deteriorate to the 'complete' state, otherwise referred to as CESR, the long-term outcome for the patient may be very poor and may justify a claim for compensation.

Incomplete (CESI) versus Complete (CESR)

Whist the patient retains some bladder sensation and control, they are considered to be at the 'incomplete' stage of cauda equina syndrome. Their loss of nerve function and associated lower body sensation and control is not, at this stage, complete. They may be having difficulty with urination but they are still aware of needing to urinate.

This is the point at which diagnosis and treatment are considered to be a medical emergency. Any delay could lead to a deterioration in the patient's condition and a worsening in their long-term prognosis.

The 'complete' version of cauda equina syndrome is when the patient can no longer sense that they need to urinate. They are said to be 'painless retention' of urine, meaning that their bladder may be full but they are unaware of that fact. They may become incontinent of urine as a consequence.

Surgery at this point seems to be less successful in restoring function. The cauda equina nerves responsible for lower body sensation and function have suffered further compression and recovery may be less likely.

Consequently, prompt and timely diagnosis and surgery are essential if the patient is not to face a lifetime of disability including possible double incontinence and loss of mobility.

Delays in diagnosis and surgery may occur for a variety of reasons:

  • A failure to recognise either the red flag symptoms or the need for an emergency response
  • A failure to warn the patient of the red flag symptoms and the need to attend hospital immediately
  • A failure to arrange an emergency MRI scan
  • A delay in reporting the results of an MRI scan
  • A delay in commencing decompression surgery

Claiming compensation

Patients whose complete cauda equina syndrome is due to poor-quality medical care may be able to make a claim for compensation for the pain, suffering and financial losses associated with the delay.

Legal advice

Cauda equina syndrome compensation claims are extremely complex. Get advice from the professionals by contacting Glynns Solicitors, experts in medical negligence compensation with extensive experience of cauda equina syndrome claims.

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