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Compensation for Medical Delays in Cauda Equina Syndrome

Compensation for Medical Delays in Cauda Equina Syndrome

The diagnosis and treatment of cauda equina syndrome can be a medical emergency. If medical professionals are responsible in delays during this vital process, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Diagnosis delays

An early diagnosis for cauda equina syndrome is absolutely crucial in giving the patient the best possible chance of a good long-term outcome. Unfortunately, delays can often occur during this process which mean that treatment, in the form of decompression surgery, is delayed.

  • A GP or Accident and Emergency practitioner may fail to recognise the significant symptoms, such as urinary symptoms, which should warrant an emergency referral for an MRI scan
  • Where the patient is only exhibiting lower back and leg pain, the medical professional may fail to carry out a thorough assessment of other possible cauda equina syndrome symptoms and, thereby fail to recognise that the patient is in the early stages of this terrible condition
  • Medical professionals may fail to warn an 'at-risk' patient of the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome meaning that when they do develop, the patient is not aware of the urgency with which they need to act

Red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome

In addition to lower back and leg pain, the patient may be experiencing altered sensation or numbness around the buttocks and in the saddle or perineal area, altered bladder sensation or control, or bilateral leg symptoms.

Urinary symptoms are crucial in indicating that a patient may be developing cauda equina syndrome. Symptoms which should prompt action can include difficulty in initiating urination, a poor flow or difficulty in feeling that the bladder has emptied, as well as leakage or loss of awareness of the need to urinate.

Treatment delays

Crucial and life-changing delays can also occur once a diagnosis has been achieved.

  • For a patient who has incomplete cauda equina syndrome and therefore still retains some bladder sensation, it is considered essential that they undergo surgery within a matter of hours. If surgery is delayed, the patient may find that their symptoms have deteriorated further during the period of delay and their chance of recovery of function is lost.

Legal advice

If you or a loved one are suffering the appalling and permanent impact of cauda equina syndrome due to delays in either diagnosis or treatment, it might be appropriate to make a claim for compensation. This can provide recompense for your financial losses due to the delay in treatment and can help you to cope with your new circumstances.

Contact Glynns today to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor with expertise in cauda equina syndrome claims.

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

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