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Suing my GP for Failing to Diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome

Suing my GP for Failing to Diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome is a fairly rare condition and one which some GPs may never encounter. However, such is the severity of the condition, that a failure to recognise and act on the symptoms may be regarded as negligent.

Cauda equina syndrome

Complete cauda equina syndrome entails the loss of function of much of the lower body. The patient may suffer incontinence of both bladder and bowel as well as loss of mobility, becoming dependent on a wheelchair.

It is caused by compression of the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine which are responsible for the awareness of sensation and the initiation of movement in the lower body.

If a patient is showing the early possible symptoms of this appalling condition, it is essential that medical professionals are willing to make the appropriate immediate referral or to seek an immediate second opinion if they have any doubts.

If a patient attends their GP or Accident and Emergency facility with lower back and leg pain, it may that they are suffering from sciatica. Their symptoms may not progress to other regions such as the bladder and bowel. However, a thorough examination for any additional signs of neurological dysfunction is necessary and, where the patient does not exhibit any such signs, it is crucial that they are informed of these 'red flag' symptoms. If they start to develop further symptoms, it may be appropriate to attend hospital immediately.

Symptoms which may indicate cauda equina syndrome

Symptoms which might suggest that the patient has a problem with their cauda equina nerves could include the following in addition to lower back and leg pain:

  • Bladder symptoms such as altered awareness of needing to urinate
  • Difficulties with urinating such as having to strain
  • Loss of sensation around the genitals, anus and buttocks
  • Pain or tingling in both legs
  • Loss of ankle reflexes

A failure to understand the significance of these symptoms or a failure to seek further advice may mean that the patient is sent home without the necessary referral or the necessary safety-netting. If their symptoms deteriorate, they may not seek the emergency help they need until it is too late to protect their lower body function.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are struggling with shocking impact of cauda equina syndrome due to a failure to recognise your symptoms, contact Glynns Solicitors, experts in cauda equina compensation claims.

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

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