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Typical Case of Cauda Equina Syndrome Medical Negligence

We have helped many people who have been affected by cauda equina syndrome claim compensation for the negligent care they received.

Typical cauda equina syndrome claim

A typical story is that the patient suffers a central disc prolapse at the L4/5 level, causing cauda equina compression. He/she presents with the red flag symptoms of urinary and bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, sacral numbness and abnormal gait.

However, the medical practitioner does not appreciate the link between these symptoms and cauda equina syndrome, and instead sends a patient home with painkillers.

The symptoms then escalate, potentially with episodes of urinary incontinence. This prompts the patient to seek further medical advice from a GP, NHS Walk-In Centre or A&E department.

At this stage the syndrome may either be recognised and surgery performed. Or the patient may be discharged yet again without an accurate diagnosis. Sometimes a patient can visit a medical professional numerous times over the course of several months before cauda equina syndrome is identified.

Because of the initial delays in diagnosis and treatment, the patient is left with a chronic cauda equina syndrome. This means the symptoms they were suffering from will remain. There may be some improvement in the year post-surgery, but after two years the injuries are likely to be permanent.

Breach of duty and causation

This is just one example of negligent cauda equina care. There are others circumstances which would lead to a successful cauda equina claim.

What is common to all cauda equina claims is that breach of duty and causation can be proved.

Breach of duty is when medical practitioners do not provide a patient with a reasonable standard of care. In CES cases, a reasonable standard of care would involve suspecting cauda equina compression from a patient’s symptoms, completing the diagnostic process (examination and MRI scan) and proceeding to emergency decompression surgery. If this care is not achieved, there will be a breach of duty.

Causation is when a breach of duty causes the patient to suffer injury. In CES cases, this would mean that the delays in diagnosis/treatment caused ongoing neurological symptoms. The prognosis would have been more favourable, had it not been for the breach of duty.

Contact our cauda equina lawyers

If you would like to know whether you are eligible to pursue a cauda equina claim, please get in touch with our cauda equina lawyers today.

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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