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Compensation for Missed Cauda Equina Red Flags

Compensation for Missed Cauda Equina Red Flags

Cauda equina syndrome is fairly rare and can be difficult to identify at an early stage. Nonetheless, if a failure to diagnose your condition has left you with permanent and debilitating symptoms, it may still be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Suspecting cauda equina syndrome

The early symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can be confused with sciatica or a muscular problem. In order to ensure that this horrific condition is not missed, medical professionals need to be willing to consider that their patient's symptoms may have a more sinister cause.

An assumption that lower back and leg pain must be sciatica may mean that the patient's spinal compression deteriorates before surgery leaving them with permanent symptoms.

Suspected incomplete cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency and a failure to treat it this way may justify a claim for compensation for medical negligence.

A patient with lower back and leg pain may indeed be suffering with sciatica. It is important, therefore, that the medical professional examines the patient for other signs which might indicate a cauda equina syndrome diagnosis.

Red flag symptoms

The red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include the following:

  • Alteration in sensation in the saddle area between the legs and around the buttocks
  • Difficulty in initiating urination or empting the bladder
  • Reduced awareness of needing to urinate
  • Radiating pain in both legs
  • Progressive weakness, pins and needles in both legs
  • Alteration in sexual experience and function
  • Alteration in bowel habit or function

If any of these symptoms occur in combination with lower back pain, it may be a sign that the patient is suffering from compression of the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine.

Medical negligence

If the patient has incomplete cauda equina syndrome, they may need emergency surgery within a matter of hours.

A failure to recognise this and refer the patient for an emergency MRI scan to confirm their diagnosis may be regarded as negligent.

A failure to warn a patient with lower back pain of the red flag symptoms of this appalling condition may also be regarded as substandard care.

If a patient with red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome suffers a medical delay, meaning that their long-term outcome is worse than could have been with an earlier diagnosis, they may wish to consider making a compensation claim.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are suffering the appalling and on-going symptoms of cauda equina syndrome due to a delay in diagnosing your condition, contact Glynns Solicitors. We have supported numerous clients in making highly-successful compensation claims for this shocking condition and will be very happy to help you.

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

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