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I Was Not Warned About Cauda Equina Syndrome Symptoms

A diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome is often delayed. Frequently this is because a patient has presented with back pain but is sent away – without being warned about the other red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome.

If you were not advised to return to hospital should you develop further symptoms, you could be the victim of medical negligence. To find out if you can claim, please contact our cauda equina solicitors today.

Warning patients about red flag symptoms

Cauda equina syndrome normally begins with lower back pain, which is a very common problem amongst the UK population.

It is very rare that a patient with lower back pain actually has cauda equina syndrome. Ordinarily it is a generalised condition that does not warrant immediate medical investigation. Therefore doctors often discharge a patient with painkillers and a physiotherapy referral.

Before sending a patient home, clinicians should remember to advise him/her to watch out for other symptoms that may indicate cauda equina syndrome. These are called the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome and include:

A patient should be told to seek immediate medical attention, should they develop these symptoms alongside their lower back pain. A patient should also be told to return to their GP if their back pain does not resolve, or progresses to bilateral sciatica.

h3>Failure to advise a patient

If a patient initially presents with back pain and is not warned to look out for further symptoms, it can lead to a delay in diagnosis. This is because the patient has been told there is nothing to worry about and nothing that can be done medically. Consequently the patient struggles on, unaware that he/she has developed the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome.

This is very dangerous as cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency. It must be treated immediately or permanent nerve damage will occur. This will leave the patient with life-changing neurological complications, such as leg weakness, sexual dysfunction and difficulty urinating.

Claiming compensation

If your cauda equina diagnosis was delayed because doctors did not advise you of the need to return to hospital, should you develop other symptoms, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

Failing to warn a patient with chronic back pain about the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome could be considered negligent. If this causes a delay in diagnosis and unnecessary injuries, there may be grounds for a compensation claim.

Contact us today to find out more.

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