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Urinary Symptoms Missed in Cauda Equina Syndrome

Urinary Symptoms Missed in Cauda Equina Syndrome

Urinary symptoms are crucial to the diagnosis of and treatment in cauda equina syndrome and a failure to assess them or to recognise their significance may be regarded as negligent care.

Cauda equina urinary symptoms

Urinary symptoms can be key to recognising that a patient may be developing cauda equina syndrome. Effectively functioning cauda equina nerves are vital for identifying sensation in, and delivering control of, the bladder. A loss of either function may be a sign that the patient is suffering from compression of these crucial nerves.

Where a patient is presenting with lower back pain, medical professionals should undertake a careful assessment for any signs of urinary or bladder problems such as the following:

  • Loss of awareness of needing to urinate
  • Reducing sensation when urinating
  • A poor flow
  • Difficulty initiating urination
  • Straining to empty the bladder
  • Leakage of urine
  • Loss of desire to urinate may suggest that the patient is in painless retention of urine

A failure to assess a patient for these signs of cauda equina syndrome may mean that the emergency MRI scan necessary to confirm their condition does not take place. The relevant medical professional may be regarded as negligent.

Bladder symptoms and decompression surgery

It is generally considered that surgery for cauda equina compression is most effective if it takes place before the patient loses bladder sensation and control. Painless retention of urine, where the patient no longer senses the build-up of urine, and may leak urine as a result is regarded as the point at which surgery may be less successful in recovery of function.

Consequently, if medical professionals fail to understand the importance of assessing a patient's urinary experience, the patient may reach the point where surgery fails to restore function. Their symptoms, such as bladder and bowel incontinence, may become permanent.

Medical negligence

Failing to recognise or assess the patient's possible cauda equina symptoms, leading to a delay in diagnosis, may be regarded as negligence care.

If a patient suffers a poor long-term outcome because their medical professional failed to assess their bladder symptoms, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Speak to a solicitor

Glynns Solicitors, specialists in this field, have extensive experience of supporting cauda equina syndrome compensation claims.

Contact us today to talk to a medical negligence solicitor, if you or a loved one are struggling with the shocking impact of cauda equina due to poor-quality medical care.

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.

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

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