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GP Did Not Refer Me For Cauda Equina Syndrome

GP Did Not Refer Me For Cauda Equina SyndromeYour GP is likely to be the first person you see if you are developing the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. It is vital that the correct action is taken to prevent a lifetime of disability.

If a patient attends the GP with the possible early symptoms of cauda equina syndrome such as lower back pain, pain and tingling or numbness in one or both legs and some signs of alteration in bladder function, the GP needs to take action.

Clinical tests

There are a number of tests that the GP could undertake in order to ascertain whether the patient is showing any signs of neurological damage. At an early stage, the patient may not even be aware that they are losing sensation around the saddle area, an indicator of cauda equina syndrome.

A pin-prick test could indicate if the patient still has their sense of feeling between the legs.

A digital, rectal examination could identify if there has been any loss of anal tone which might suggest a problem with the cauda equina nerves.

A straight leg raising test might indicate if there is a problem in the lumbar region.

MRI scan referral

If the patient’s signs and symptoms suggest that they might be developing cauda equina syndrome, they will require an emergency MRI scan.

A GP who fails to refer a patient for an immediate MRI when they are clearly exhibiting symptoms of cauda equina syndrome might be considered to have acted negligently.

An MRI scan will confirm whether the patient’s symptoms are being caused by compression of their cauda equina nerves. A positive diagnosis is likely to lead to emergency surgery in order to preserve as much of the patient’s lower body function and sensation as possible.

Red Flag Warnings

Where the patient’s symptoms do not indicate a need for an emergency MRI but are, nonetheless, suggestive of a possibility that cauda equina syndrome might develop, the GP should advise the patient of key red flag symptoms which would warrant an immediate attendance at an A&E unit.

A medical emergency

A patient suffering with compression of the cauda equina nerves may well require emergency surgery. Without this, they may suffer with incontinence and mobility problems for the rest of their life.

A failure by a medical professional to ensure that the patient has the best chance of undergoing surgery at the right moment may be considered to be substandard medical care.

Medical Negligence

If you are suffering with the appalling long-term of cauda equina syndrome due to a failure by your GP to take the necessary action, you may wish to talk to a solicitor regarding a possible claim for compensation.

Contact us to discuss your situation with a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

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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