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Failure to Recognise the First Signs of Cauda Equina Syndromee

Failure to Recognise the First Signs of Cauda Equina Syndromee

Cauda equina syndrome, a shocking neurological condition resulting in loss of lower body function, is a fairly rare condition. A failure by medical professionals to recognise it in its early stages may justify a claim for compensation.

Early suspicion of cauda equina compression

Pain in the lower back and leg may be symptoms of sciatica. However, it may also be the very first signs that the patient has compression in the lumbar spine and is developing cauda equina syndrome A failure by medical professionals to consider this possible explanation can be catastrophic. Cauda equina syndrome is a progressive condition and the patient's compression and loss of lower body function may continue to the point of double incontinence and paralysis.

It is essential that the patient undergoes a thorough examination and, if that does not indicate cauda equina syndrome symptoms, they need to be advised as to the symptoms which should prompt an immediate attendance at Accident and Emergency.

It is to be hoped that their symptoms do not worsen but, a failure to consider that they might, may be regarded as substandard care.

Examination for additional symptoms

A patient with lower back and leg pain should be assessed for altered sensation in the saddle area and around the anus and buttocks. Their bladder sensation and function should be assessed also as altered sensation may be a sign that the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine are under pressure. It would also be significant if the patient was experiencing symptom sin both legs rather than one.

Red flag warnings

If, after examination, it not considered necessary to refer the patient for an MRI scan, they should, nonetheless, be warned of the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, such as those above.

Without such advice, the patient may return home and take no further action when their symptoms deteriorate. Unfortunately, timing of surgery for cauda equina syndrome is critical and a delay may mean that any loss of function becomes permanent.

Legal advice

If diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome is delayed due to negligence by medical professionals, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation. This can consider the patient's pain, suffering and financial losses caused by the negligence.

Cauda equina claims can be extremely complex and require the guidance of specialists in their field. Contact Glynns Solicitors, medical negligence compensation experts, to discuss your situation with a solicitor with expertise in cauda equina claims.

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