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Urinary Retention and Cauda Equina Negligence

Urinary Retention and Cauda Equina Negligence

A poor urinary flow may be a sign of cauda equina syndrome and a failure by medical professionals to recognise the significance of this symptom may be considered as negligent.

Bladder function in cauda equina syndrome

A loss of function of the cauda equina nerves will impact on the functioning of the bladder.

Consequently, the functioning of the bladder is regarded as a key symptom in identifying the development of cauda equina syndrome. A patient who is developing this disabling condition may have lost bladder sensation completely and be retaining urine without realising. This is termed CES-R or complete cauda equina syndrome and it is considered that the patient may have a less positive outcome from surgery than if decompression of their cauda equina nerves had occurred at an earlier stage.

If a patient with compression of the cauda equina nerves still retains some bladder sensation, it is considered that surgery is likely to produce a more positive long-term outcome but that surgery is, nonetheless, a matter of emergency. If surgery is delayed, the patient's condition may deteriorate.

Assessing bladder function

Assessment of urinary experience and bladder sensation is, therefore, crucial in a patient who is exhibiting possible symptoms of cauda equina syndrome such as lower back and leg pain and altered sensation in the saddle area.

If the patient is also experiencing symptoms such as poor urinary flow or difficulty emptying the bladder, but still has awareness of needing to urinate, they may need an MRI scan to confirm the cause of their symptoms. This may need to be done as a matter of emergency.

A failure by medical professionals to understand the urgency of the situation and to arrange for an immediate MRI scan may be regarded as negligent.

The impact of a delay in undergoing an MRI scan when an individual is developing cauda equina syndrome cannot be overstated.

Claiming compensation for delayed surgery

If a patient who is developing cauda equina syndrome does not receive an emergency MRI scan when it would generally have been regarded as necessary, they may be considered to have received only substandard medical care.

If the long-term outcome for the patient is poor due to the delay in confirming their diagnosis, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Contact Glynns Solicitors, specialists in medical negligence compensation, to talk to a solicitor with expertise in CES claims.

Call us today if you or a loved one are struggling with the permanent impact of this shocking condition due to poor-quality medical care.

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