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Delayed MRI Scan for Cauda Equina Syndrome

Delayed MRI Scan for Cauda Equina SyndromeA delay in organising or undertaking an MRI scan for a patient who may be developing cauda equina syndrome can result in catastrophic long-term symptoms, prompting a medical negligence compensation claim.

MRI scans and cauda equina syndrome

A patient who presents to their GP or A&E unit with symptoms of possible cauda equina syndrome is likely to require an emergency MRI scan. This means the patient should undergo an MRI scan as quickly as possible, within a few hours. It does not mean an urgent referral, which may take weeks to come through.

An MRI scan delay may be due to a delay in recognising the significance of the patient’s symptoms. It may also be due to a delay in the hospital or a lack of suitable equipment and a delay in transferring the patient to alternative provision. Finally, a delay could occur in the reporting of the findings of the MRI scan.

The importance of the MRI scan in cauda equina syndrome cases is relevant to the urgency of the need for a confirmed diagnosis. Without a diagnosis, decompression surgery will not take place and a delay in treatment can mean a deterioration in symptoms without devastating outcomes.

Diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome

If the patient’s symptoms delay whilst waiting for diagnosis and treatment, surgery is likely to be less successful in bringing about a recovery of lost function. As a result, the patient may be left with distressing and debilitating bowel, bladder and mobility problems.

A patient who requires an emergency MRI scan for cauda equina syndrome is likely to be exhibiting the following symptoms:

Medical negligence

If a medical practitioner fails to recognise the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome and does not refer the patient for an emergency MRI, they may be considered guilty of having provided a substandard level of care.

If the patient subsequently suffers a significantly worse physical (and, probably, psychological) outcome due to this failure, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Contact us today

If you or a loved one are in this distressing situation, contact us to discuss your experience with a specialist medical negligence solicitor with expertise in cauda equina syndrome cases.

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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