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Cauda Equina Surgery Delayed Due To Lack of Beds Bristol

If a Bristol hospital delayed your cauda equina syndrome surgery because of a shortage of beds, you could be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation. For more information, please get in touch with our specialist cauda equina solicitors today.

Denied treatment because of a shortage of beds?

Cauda equina syndrome has to be treated as quickly as possible. The condition is a medical emergency because it involves the compression of the nerve roots in the lower back. If compression continues for too long, the nerves will become irreparably harmed.

Although this will not be fatal for the patient, it will leave him/her will permanent neurological complications of a life-changing nature, including incontinence and loss of function in the legs.

Therefore as soon as cauda equina syndrome is diagnosed, the hospital must arrange emergency surgical decompression. Surgery is the only way to treat cauda equina syndrome. The operation must be carried out the same day or early the following day.

If the hospital cannot treat the patient for any reason, it should organise for the patient to be sent to another hospital without delay. A hospital may not be able to treat a patient is there is a shortage of beds, there is no access to emergency MRI scanning or there is no one with the necessary experience to perform the operation.

It is not acceptable for the hospital to simply wait until these problems resolve – for example, to send a patient away until a bed becomes available. As mentioned above, cauda equina syndrome has to be treated immediately. Medical practitioners should appreciate the urgency with which treatment is required and work hard to find a hospital that can treat the patient on an emergency basis.

Failure to treat cauda equina syndrome in time

If a Bristol hospital fails to treat cauda equina syndrome in a reasonable amount of time, there may be grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim.

While cauda equina syndrome is often described as being ‘rare’, it is not so rare that medical practitioners would not know how to diagnose and treat the condition. Indeed, any reasonably competent doctor should be able to achieve a diagnosis within a reasonable amount of time and be aware of the need to arrange emergency surgery. A failure to meet this standard of care will be unacceptable. If this causes a patient to suffer unnecessary injuries, there will be a case of medical negligence.

For more information on suing a Bristol hospital for medical negligence, please contact us today.

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