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What are Cauda Equina Syndrome Red Flags?

What are Cauda Equina Syndrome Red Flags?Spotting the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can mean the difference between recovery and a lifetime of distressing disability.

Diagnosing cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome is a devastating condition that can be treated with decompre ssion surgery if it is diagnosed before it has developed too far.

In order for a timely diagnosis to take place, however, the attending GP or A&E practitioner must recognise the condition’s red flag symptoms and make an emergency referral for an MRI scan.

A failure to recognise these key symptoms may lead to an extremely distressing outcome for the patient and the possibility of a claim for compensation.

What is cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome is a neurological condition where the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine have become compressed and start to lose their function. The sooner the condition is diagnosed, the greater chance there is that the nerves and their function will recover.

The cauda equina nerves control the passing of sensory and movement messages between the brain and the lower body so a loss of function can result in a number of symptoms.

Red flag symptoms

A patient who visits their GP or A&E unit with all or some of the following symptoms may be considered to be in danger of developing cauda equina syndrome:

An MRI scan is usually considered to be necessary as a matter of emergency at this point in order to confirm the cause of these symptoms. If it proves to be due to damage to the cauda equina nerves, surgery may be required within 48 hours in order to try to halt any further deterioration.

Failing to recognise symptoms

Where the medical professional either fails to recognise or fails to act on these red flag symptoms, they may be considered to have acted negligently.

If the patient is subsequently found to be suffering from cauda equina syndrome which has deteriorated significantly since attending their medical professional, they may be entitled to make a claim for compensation for their pain and suffering.

Had an early referral taken place, leading to prompt surgery, the patient may have made a good recovery.

Consult a solicitor

If you are suffering with the appalling long-term symptoms of cauda equina syndrome due to a diagnosis failure, contact us to discuss your experience with a specialist solicitor.

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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