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Over £300,000 for delayed decompression surgery

Over £300,000 for delayed decompression surgeryAttending a musculoskeletal triage nurse with intense pain in her knee, Mary was told that she had sciatica due to a slipped disc and was referred for physiotherapy. Mary was only able to walk a few yards and had numbness and a tingling sensation down the whole of her left leg.

Unfortunately, Mary’s symptoms deteriorated and, after a further four months, she returned to her GP and requested an x-ray or an MRI scan as she was suffering intense pain, had numbness, poor circulation and cold feet. The doctor told Mary she must instead wait until the physiotherapy appointment.

Six days later, however, Mary was suffering excruciating pain in her left leg and her mother took her to A&E where she was examined by a doctor and received an x-ray. She was given a letter to hand to her GP stating she required an MRI scan and physiotherapy immediately.

Mary delivered the letter two days later, but no action had been taken by the time that, four days later, she awoke to find that she had lost all feeling from her hips down in both legs, between her legs and her bottom. She also found that she had to really strain when passing urine or a bowel movement.

Mary went straight to A&E where a doctor diagnosed cauda equina syndrome and sent her to another hospital with a request for an MRI scan. However, the consultant at the second hospital said he disagreed with the diagnosis and the MRI scan did not take place for another two days.

Mary was given nerve root injections the following day but it was another six days before Mary was finally told that she required surgery to try to resolve the problem of a disc pressing on her cauda equina nerves.

Due to a catalogue of errors, including losing the MRI scan, surgery was repeatedly postponed, until, after a further five days, the hospital finally transferred Mary elsewhere for surgery.

Before the procedure took place Mary had spent two weeks in hospital, exhibiting the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. Unfortunately, clinicians initially disregarded this diagnosis, and then delayed surgery – despite the condition needing emergency surgery within 24 – 48 hours.

Mary continues to suffer intense pain and has to use a catheter at all times. She has difficulty with mobility and has been unable to continue working, causing financial difficulties.

We helped Mary make a claim for the negligent care she received from her GP and while in hospital. She was awarded in excess of £300,000 in compensation.

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

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