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How Much Time To Treat Cauda Equina Syndrome?

If your cauda equina syndrome was not diagnosed and treated quickly enough, leading to irreversible nerve damage, there may be grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim. Contact us today for more information.

How much time to treat cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome is best diagnosed and treated as soon as possible in order to limit any permanent deficit. There is much debate amongst medical practitioners as to how much time is available to treat cauda equina syndrome. Many suggest that patients with cauda equina syndrome have just 48 hours from the onset of symptoms to undergo surgery. If surgery is conducted after 48 hours, the damage will be irreparable.

Delayed diagnosis and treatment of cauda equina syndrome

Due to the small window of opportunity in which to treat cauda equina syndrome, the precise timing of events is important in cauda equina cases. It is necessary to establish the point at which the patient’s condition turned from incomplete (where there is some executive bladder control) to complete (where there is total urinary retention leading to incontinence).

If a patient’s condition becomes complete while they are under the care of medical practitioners, it must be questioned whether there has been an acceptable standard of care. In many cases there will have been a failure to recognise the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. This results in a delay in diagnosis and treatment. During the course of these delays, the patient’s condition deteriorates and complete cauda equina syndrome occurs.

But had the symptoms been recognised as cauda equina syndrome, then an earlier MRI scan would have been performed and the cauda equina compression diagnosed earlier. An operation to decompress the cauda equina nerves would, on the balance of probabilities, have been conducted sooner. This would have resulted in a better outcome for the patient, with their symptoms either being minimised or resolved entirely.

Claiming compensation for cauda equina syndrome

Medical practitioners should be able to recognise the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. Once clinicians have identified a possible cauda equina syndrome, a request for a lumbar MRI scan should be made. The radiologist should perform an urgent MRI scan to facilitate early surgery.

If there are delays at any stage of this process, a patient’s prognosis will be adversely affected. If this has happened to you, in that you have suffered permanent damage because of poor medical care, you need to talk to a solicitor. You could be eligible to pursue a claim for compensation. Contact us today for more information.

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