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Can Cauda Equina Syndrome Cause Death?

Cauda equina syndrome is a neurological condition that can cause permanent disability. It will not, however, result in a fatality.

Cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome cannot cause death. Nevertheless, it can cause a number of other tragic consequences if left untreated.

This is because cauda equina syndrome happens when the cauda equina nerves are compressed, normally by something such as a slipped disc or tumour.

The nerves are extremely delicate, so any form of compression will cause them to suffer harm. When the cauda equina nerves are injured, they will lose function, leading to physical symptoms such as:

These symptoms arise because the cauda equina nerves provide sensation and function in the lower limbs, saddle area and pelvic organs. Therefore when the nerves lose function because of compression, all these areas of the body will be adversely affected.

Cauda equina syndrome complications

It is possible to reverse these symptoms by providing immediate treatment. This will ensure the nerves are decompressed before too much damage is done.

However, if compression continues for too long, the nerves will become irreparably injured. For these patients, it will not be possible to repair the nerves and their symptoms will be permanent.

Long-term cauda equina complications will be extremely devastating in nature. The actual disabilities a patient will be left with vary from case to case, but may include:

Living with these neurological complications can have a serious psychological effect on a patient, and many do go on to suffer with depression and anxiety.

Preventing CES complications

The only way to avoid the complications associated with cauda equina syndrome is with immediate surgical decompression. There is some debate as to how quickly irreparable damage will occur, although most experts advise that permanent injury will occur 48 hours after the onset of symptoms.

Cauda equina claims

If medical practitioners make mistakes, meaning a patient does not receive timely treatment for cauda equina syndrome, there may be a case of medical negligence. It is for this reason that so many cauda equina claims arise (rather than a cauda equina death). If you think you have a cauda equina claim, please get in touch with us today.

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