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Delay In Treating Cauda Equina Syndrome

When the nerves located at the bottom of the spinal cord become compressed, a patient is said to be suffering from Cauda Equina Syndrome. It is a rare but serious condition that requires immediate medical treatment. The course of treatment will vary according to the underlying cause, but will usually involve emergency surgery to decompress the nerves. If such treatment is delayed, the extent of nerve damage will become increasingly widespread, quickly causing severe injury.

Consequences of a Delay in Treatment

A delay in treatment can therefore result in serious consequences for the patient. Even after surgery, there may be long-term problems which require on-going medical attention. There are sadly cases in which these issues can never be entirely resolved, leaving the individual and their family to face a lifetime of health complications. Although these will vary from person to person, Cauda Equina Syndrome can cause long-term or permanent injuries such as:-

As can be appreciated, these residual problems are severe in nature, and will undoubtedly turn someone’s life upside down. It may no longer be possible for the individual to work, carry out household chores or look after their children, while embarrassing symptoms such as incontinence will probably lead to a diminished social life.

A Delay as a Result of Medical Negligence

But why, exactly, would there be a delay in treating a medical emergency such as Cauda Equina Syndrome? Generally speaking, there are two possible reasons:-

1. A patient does not seek urgent medical attention

There are occasions in which someone will develop the symptoms of nerve compression, only to delay in seeking medical attention – often because he/she is embarrassed about the type of symptoms present.

2. Medical error

However, we unfortunately see many cases in which a patient has attended their GP or local A&E department with the tell-tale signs of Cauda Equina Syndrome, only to be sent home without treatment. Often this will occur because a doctor mistakenly believes a patient to be suffering a more minor condition such as a urinary tract infection. Alternatively, a delay may arise because the necessary examinations and test are not performed, or because emergency treatment is not promptly arranged.

What Action Can You Take?

If you have been the victim of a delay in diagnosis and treatment, you could be entitled to make a medical negligence claim. This will allow you, as the injured victim, to recover compensation for the pain, suffering and acute financial loss you have incurred. To find out more, contact our specialist solicitors 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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