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Suing My GP for Misdiagnosed Cauda Equina Syndrome Symptoms

Suing My GP for Misdiagnosed Cauda Equina Syndrome Symptoms

A patient with the possible early signs of cauda equina syndrome may require an emergency MRI scan and emergency surgery. If a patient is sent home with a misdiagnosis and no red flag warnings, the relevant medical professional may be regarded as having acted negligently.

An emergency?

A patient who is developing cauda equina syndrome needs a diagnosis and surgery before the compression of their cauda equina nerves becomes irreversible. This requires medical practitioners to be meticulous in their assessment of someone with the possible early symptoms of this appalling condition.

A patient who suffers complete cauda equina syndrome may experience the following shocking symptoms if their condition is not identified and treated in a timely manner.

  • Bowel incontinence - of both wind and faeces
  • Bladder incontinence
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Reduced or lost mobility

Misdiagnosing cauda equina syndrome

A patient who may be developing cauda equina syndrome is likely to be experiencing lower back and leg pain.

Such a patient should undergo a thorough examination in order to check if they have any other symptoms, such as loss of sensation in the saddle area or urinary symptoms. A failure to do this may result in the patient being sent home with a diagnosis of sciatica rather than an immediate referral to go to hospital.

As a consequence, the patient may suffer a deterioration in their symptoms before a correct diagnosis is finally made, and this can lead to a poor long-term outcome with the above-mentioned symptoms.

Red flag warnings

If an examination is carried out but reveals no alarming symptoms, it is still necessary for the patient to be warned of the symptoms which should prompt an immediate attendance at Accident and Emergency.

Without such advice, a patient may not realise that their new urinary problems, such as having to strain to begin urinating, are connected to their lower back pain and are a sign that emergency action is necessary. The patient may decide to wait until their next GP or physiotherapy appointment, by which time it may be too late for surgery to bring about much improvement in their condition.

Medical negligence and compensation claims

If a medical practitioner fails to consider the possibility of cauda equina syndrome in a patient with lower back and leg pain, giving an incorrect diagnosis or failing to warn of the red flag symptoms, they might be regarded as having acted negligently.

If the patient suffers a poor long-term outcome due to the subsequent delay in diagnosis and treatment, it might be appropriate to make a claim for compensation for the patient's pain, suffering and associated financial losses.

Get legal advice

If you or a loved one are suffering significant, long-term problems due to a delay in diagnosing cauda equina syndrome, contact Glynns today to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor about a possible compensation claim.

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