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Eliciting a History of Symptoms From CES Patients

If a patient is suspected of having cauda equina syndrome, medical practitioners must elicit a thorough history of their symptoms as this will ensure a correct diagnosis is obtained.

Cauda equina symptoms

Cauda equina syndrome happens when the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine are compressed and injured. This impairs neurological function, resulting in a constellation of symptoms that together are known as cauda equina syndrome. These symptoms include:

Saddle anaesthesia, urinary dysfunction and back pain are the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. The presence of these symptoms should immediately cause medical practitioners to suspect cauda equina syndrome in their list of potential diagnoses.

Eliciting a history of symptoms from a patient

A patient suspected of having cauda equina syndrome must be asked for a thorough history of their symptoms, including the timeframes involved.

Medical practitioners must ask questions about a patient’s urinary, bowel and sexual function, all of which will be impaired with cauda equina compression. A patient should also be asked whether there is any saddle anaesthesia and numbness.

By eliciting such a history, medical practitioners can check whether a patient’s symptoms tally with cauda equina syndrome. It is essential this is achieved because it can significantly alter the management of a patient’s condition.

Without eliciting a thorough history, doctors may regard a patient’s symptoms as face value. Consequently they may only suspect a more minor condition such as a urinary tract infection or generalised lower back pain. Only by establishing the entire history of a patient’s symptoms will it become apparent that something more sinister is at play.

Failure to diagnose cauda equina syndrome

Unfortunately patients with cauda equina syndrome regularly face a delay in diagnosis, resulting in life-changing consequences. This can happen because a patient simply does not seek medical help in time. More often, however, it is because medical practitioners failed to recognise the full scope of a patient’s symptoms.

If the diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome is delayed and the fault lies with medical practitioners, there may be a case of medical negligence. To find out more, you need to speak to a solicitor who specialises in these claims.

Cauda equina solicitors

For more information about claiming compensation 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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