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Did Your GP Fail To Diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome?

If your GP failed to accurately diagnose your Cauda Equina Syndrome, you should speak to a solicitor. This is because your GP may well have provided you with a substandard level of medical care, making you the victim of medical negligence. You will therefore be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have sustained.

How to diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda Equina Syndrome can either materialise very gradually, or there will be a very rapid onset of symptoms. In the latter case, it is probable that someone will go straight to their nearest A&E. But if the early symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome develop slowly, many will choose to seek medical attention from their GP.

When a GP is presented with a patient showing the early signs of Cauda Equina Syndrome, care must be taken to make an accurate diagnosis. The problem can, however, be wrongly identified. This is because the symptoms are extremely similar to other more minor conditions such as a urinary tract infection or sciatica. Therefore a GP should carry out an array of tests to ensure the correct diagnosis is obtained, all the while keeping the possibility of Cauda Equina Syndrome in the back of their mind.

Firstly, a GP should perform a physical examination to assess whether a patient is showing the ‘red flag’ symptoms of spine compression. This will involve testing anal tone, perineal sensation, lower body motor function and urinary disturbances. Urine and blood test will also help to rule out other problems (such as an infection). If the results of these tests give rise to any suspicion of Cauda Equina Syndrome, a patient must be referred immediately to hospital for an urgent MRI scan. Time really is of the essence, as Cauda Equina Syndrome is a condition that must be treated as soon as possible. If there is a delay, a patient will be at risk of suffering permanent injuries.

GP failure to diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome

However, there are unfortunately times when a GP fails to recognise a patient’s symptoms as being highly indicative of Cauda Equina Syndrome. In such cases it is not unusual for a patient to be treated for the wrong condition – for example, antibiotics may be prescribed for a urinary tract infection, or a referral may be made to a physiotherapist. But of course such treatment will be of little use as a patient does in fact require spinal decompression.

This misdiagnosis can prove devastating. The longer nerve compression continues, the more extensive the damage will be. Eventually the nerves will suffer so much harm that a repair will not be effective. A patient will then face a lifetime of neurological complications that cannot be rectified.

Has this happened to you?

If this has happened to you or a loved one, you will undoubtedly be upset and angry about the care you received from your GP. After all, if an accurate diagnosis had been made in a timely fashion, it is likely that your prognosis for recovery would be far more favourable.

Nevertheless, there is action you can take, as you will be able to make a claim against your GP for the negligent treatment you received. If your medical negligence claim is successful, you will be awarded compensation for the pain, suffering and financial loss you have wrongfully endured.

To find out more about making a cauda equina claim against your GP, contact us today at the Cauda Equina Solicitors.

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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