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Medicolegal Implications of Cauda Equina Syndrome

Every year, a very small number of people in the UK will suffer from Cauda Equina Syndrome. It is a rare condition, but is one that often results in a high value medical negligence claim.

A common source of litigation

Cauda Equina Syndrome attracts a large amount of medicolegal claims. The reasons for this are twofold: firstly, it is not a common problem and medical professionals will not always have seen it during the course of their career. Secondly it is a condition that requires urgent treatment if a patient is going to successfully recover; if there is a delay, sometimes even of a few hours, life-altering complications will ensue. This is because the cauda equina nerves are very sensitive. If they are subject for pressure for too long, the damage will not only be widespread, it will also be irreparable. A patient will consequently face a life-time of neurological problems such as loss of bowel and bladder control, sexual dysfunction and total or partial paralysis of the legs.

However, medical professionals have a duty of care towards their patients. This means they must provide an acceptable level of care as judged by a ‘reasonable’ body of medical men. In terms of Cauda Equina Syndrome, an acceptable level of care would involve:-

If medical professionals do not follow the steps outlined above, it is possible the standard of care will be considered unacceptable. If this in turn causes a patient to suffer an injury (which can usually be attributed to a delay in diagnosis and treatment) there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim.

Do you have a cauda equina claim?

If you have had Cauda Equina Syndrome, you need to consider whether your prognosis for recovery was hindered by substandard medical care. If you believe it was, contact us at the Cauda Equina Solicitors for expert legal advice. We will be able to suggest whether or not you are in a position to make a claim. If so, we can help you make a claim against the GP or NHS Trust responsible for your injuries, ensuring you obtain the compensation you so rightfully deserve.

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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