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Cauda Equina Misdiagnosis
Patient Faces Multiple Disabilities After Misdiagnosis of Cauda Equina Symptoms

Patient Faces Multiple Disabilities After Misdiagnosis of Cauda Equina Symptoms

When Caroline began to experience unusual symptoms following a recent fall, she decided to seek advice from NHS 111. She had severe lower back pain as well as numbness in both legs and the vaginal area. She had also suffered an episode of incontinence whilst walking upstairs to the bathroom. She was advised by the NHS 111 doctor to go straight to hospital.

In the Emergency Department, Caroline was diagnosed with musculoskeletal pain and discharged. No specialist advice was sought, she was not referred for an MRI scan to check for any underlying condition, nor was she given advice regarding red flag symptoms.

Unfortunately, the symptoms which Caroline was exhibiting of perineal numbness, lower back pain and urinary incontinence should have triggered an urgent MRI scan. Had this occurred, she would probably have undergone surgery later that day and would not have gone on to suffer the difficulties she now experiences.

In fact, although Caroline was identified as suffering compression of the cauda equina nerves following an MRI scan over a week later, she did not undergo surgery until more than twenty days after her initial attendance at hospital.

During the intervening period, Caroline's symptoms of cauda equina syndrome had increased. Her saddle numbness had worsened and she had decreasing control over both bladder and bowel.

As a consequence of her delayed surgery, Caroline has been left suffering numerous distressing and debilitating symptoms. She struggles with both bladder and bowel sensation and function. She suffers with left foot drop and is unstable when she walks, leading to numerous falls.

Inevitably, her difficulties have had a profound impact on Caroline's quality of life and that of her family who need to provide considerable personal support. She has been unable to return to work and her husband has had to take time off work to help her, resulting in financial losses.

This sad outcome would not have happened had Caroline received an accurate diagnosis and undergone surgery shortly after attending hospital following her fall.

She approached Glynns to investigate the quality of her medical care and we found that the medical response she received in the Emergency Department had been negligent.

As a result, Caroline has been awarded compensation in excess of £250,000 for the on-going symptoms and severe difficulties caused by her poor medical care.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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