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Essential A & E Warning for Cauda Equina Syndrome

A failure to inform a patient that they must attend A&E immediately if cauda equina syndrome symptoms develop can lead to a significant claim for compensation for the poorer outcome then experienced.

Development of cauda equina syndrome

Essential A & E Warning for Cauda Equina Syndrome

Holding hands.

The symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can change and develop over time and there is no consistent and regular pattern by which this happens. Each patient may experience a different speed of deterioration and loss of function.

However, it is possible for early initial symptoms to deteriorate rapidly and if action is not taken at this point, the impact of this deterioration can affect the likely outcome of surgery for the patient.

It is, therefore, imperative that a GP presented with a patient with possible early symptoms informs the patient of this possible scenario, advises them as to which symptoms to look out for and emphasises the need to access A&E immediately should these symptoms develop.

A failure to give a patient an appropriate warning can lead to significant compensation claims if the patient does not then understand the urgency associated with a deterioration in symptoms (because they have not been warned) and delays their attendance at A&E.

Red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome

For example, if the patient has pain, tingling and/or weakness in one of their legs, they should be warned of the need to take action should they start to experience the following additional symptoms:

Why is immediate action necessary?

A delay in accessing medical attention once symptoms have developed to include any of the above may reduce the patient’s chances of recovering sensation and function in the affected areas after surgery.

It is generally agreed that, once diagnosis has been established with an MRI scan, the sooner decompression surgery is carried out, the better. The longer the cauda equina nerves are compressed, the more significant the effects on the lower body are likely to be and the harder it will be for those nerves to restore function.

A patient could be left with permanent mobility problems, as well as sexual, urinary and bowel dysfunction.

Medical Negligence

A patient with developing cauda equina syndrome symptoms can only understand the need for immediate attendance at A&E if they have been informed thoroughly by their GP – both as to the nature of the relevant symptoms and the action to take.

If a GP or other appropriate medical practitioner does not ensure that the patient is fully aware of the risks associated with their possible condition, they might be guilty of providing a substandard level of care.

Talk to a solicitor

If you are suffering the long-term effects of cauda equina syndrome due to failure by your medical professional, contact Glynns Solicitors to discuss your case.

You may be able to make a claim for compensation for the pain and injury you have suffered unnecessarily.

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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