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Delayed Access to an MRI Scan for Cauda Equina Syndrome

Delayed Access to an MRI Scan for Cauda Equina Syndrome

An emergency MRI scan may be the procedure which saves a patient from a lifetime of double incontinence and loss of mobility. A failure by medical professionals to arrange this procedure may result in a claim for compensation.

Cauda equina syndrome and MRI Services

It is widely recognised that a diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome is a matter of emergency and that an MRI scan is usually the route to achieve this. However, access to an MRI scan may depend on the patient's location and the timing of their emergency condition.

Some hospitals do not offer a suitable MRI scan facility. Although, ideally, twenty-four hours scanning facilities should be available at every hospital, this is not the case. For a patient who is developing cauda equina syndrome, however, a delay in undergoing a scan may leave them permanently disabled.

Some hospitals do not have a twenty-four hour service for scanning due to availability of staff. Likewise, this can deprive a patient of a vital procedure if the decision is made to delay their MRI scan until staff are available the following day. Where an out-of-hours service is not available, alternative arrangements should be made.

Where these circumstances exist, it is imperative that alternative arrangements are made. If a hospital delays organising an MRI scan for a patient with CES, it may result in a claim for compensation for negligence.

When faced with a patient who is exhibiting symptoms of incomplete cauda equina syndrome, emergency arrangements should be made to transfer a patient to the closest suitable facility if a hospital is unable to provide an MRI scanning service with sufficient urgency.

Diagnosing cauda equina syndrome

Symptoms which should justify the arrangement of an emergency MRI scan would include altered bladder function or loss of sensation in the perineum alongside lower back and leg pain, perhaps in both legs.

If a delay in organising an MRI scan allows the patient to deteriorate prior to diagnosis and surgery, the relevant medical professionals may be regarded as having acted negligently. The patient may then be justified in making a claim for compensation for the impact of their delayed surgery.

Get legal advice

If you or a loved one are experiencing the on-going effects of cauda equina syndrome due to a delay in diagnosis, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Contact Glynns Solicitors, specialists in cauda equina syndrome claims, in order to talk to one of our experienced solicitors.

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