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Cauda Equina Syndrome and Medical Negligence

If your cauda equina syndrome was poorly handled by medical practitioners, causing you to suffer long-term complications, have you been the victim of medical negligence? Are you entitled to pursue legal action? And could you be awarded compensation for the damages wrongfully incurred?

Cauda equina medical negligence

Cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency. This is because there is a very small window of opportunity in which the condition can be successfully treated. If this timeframe is missed, a patient will be left with ongoing neurological problems.

Such complications will of course be extremely upsetting for the patient concerned, and their life will undoubtedly be turned upside down. But are medical practitioners to blame for the outcome, or is a patient’s condition an unfortunate but accepted consequence of cauda equina syndrome?

When answering this question, legal experts must ask if a patient experienced a substandard level of medical care, and if so, whether this caused an avoidable injury.

A reasonable standard of care

The following scenario would represent a reasonable standard of care:

A patient presents to their GP or hospital with the red flags symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. Tests and examinations are carried out promptly, leading to a timely and accurate diagnosis being made. If the condition is incomplete, a patient proceeds straight to surgery. If the condition is complete, emergency surgery is not needed and an operation can be performed the following day.

Substandard medical care

The following scenario would represent a substandard level of care:

A patient presents to their GP or hospital with the red flags symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. The symptoms are not recognised as being indicative of cauda equina compression. Often this happens because a full neurological examination is not completed, and/or a detailed history of a patient’s symptoms is not taken. Either way, a patient is discharged with the wrong diagnosis. A patient continues to seek medical help for the same symptoms, but still an accurate diagnosis is not made. Eventually cauda equina syndrome is diagnosed, but by that stage the condition has become complete and treatment proves ineffective.

Cauda equina claims

If there has been a case of substandard medical care, such as the scenario described above, the medical practitioners in question will have breached their duty of care. If this leads to injuries that could otherwise have been avoided, there will be grounds for a compensation claim.

If you believe you could be entitled to make a claim for cauda equina syndrome, please get in touch with us today.

Please call us free on 0800 234 3300, from a mobile click to call 01275 334030 or complete our Free Online Enquiry for a no cost, no obligation opinion.

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