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Claiming Compensation for NHS MRI Negligence in Cauda Equina Syndrome

Claiming Compensation for NHS MRI Negligence in Cauda Equina Syndrome

If a clinical assessment indicates that a patient may be developing cauda equina syndrome, an emergency MRI scan may be necessary to confirm the underlying cause of their symptoms. A failure by the NHS to make suitable arrangements may be regarded as negligent.

Symptoms justifying an MRI scan

Symptoms which might indicate the possibility of cauda equina syndrome and which might require an urgent or emergency MRI scan could include the following in addition to lower back pain:

  • Bilateral leg pain and tingling or numbness
  • Altered urinary sensation such as having to strain, or leakage
  • Altered sensation in the saddle area and around the anus, such as tingling or numbness

If the patient is, indeed, developing cauda equina syndrome, a failure to recognise the implications of these symptoms and arrange an MRI scan, may allow their condition to deteriorate prior to surgery. This can mean a lifetime of disability and distress due to incontinence and dependency on a wheelchair.

MRI Provision

The urgency and severity of cauda equina syndrome means that a patient may need to have access to MRI facilities at any point, be it a week day or weekend, daytime or night-time.

Not all hospitals can offer such a facility but, where this is the case, it is essential that arrangements are made to transfer the patient as promptly as possible to a medical centre where the appropriate MRI facility is available twenty-four hours a day. The timing of this action can mean the difference between recovery of lower body function and total loss.

Non-availability of MRI facilities may not be accepted as adequate defence if a patient suffers long-term disability because there was a delay in arranging their MRI scan.

Emergency surgery

If the MRI scan shows that the patient is suffering from compression of their cauda equina nerves, it may be necessary for them to undergo decompression surgery within a matter of hours. If this is delayed, their symptoms may worsen and their long-term outcome may be determined by that delay. The role and timing of the MRI scan is crucial to a successful outcome for this reason.

Legal advice

If a patient suffers poor long-term symptoms such as double incontinence due to delays in arranging their MRI scan, the relevant medical professionals may be regarded as having provided substandard care. It may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation for the financial impact of the negligence.

Contact Glynns Solicitors, specialists in medical negligence compensation claims, to discuss your situation with an experienced solicitor.

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