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UTIs from Incomplete Emptying of the Bladder

Cauda equina syndrome can result in permanent urinary dysfunction, with the affected individual finding it hard to fully empty their bladder. This can lead to recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Urinary dysfunction after cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome can cause a variety of neurological difficulties, one of which is urinary dysfunction.

This is because the cauda equina nerves are responsible for providing function and sensation to the bladder and urethra. When the cauda equina nerves are compressed and damaged, function and sensation will be reduced or lost completely.

If cauda equina syndrome is not treated quickly enough, the nerves will be too injured for a repair to be effective. Consequently the patient’s symptoms will remain and any urinary dysfunction will be permanent. This can be associated with a number of problems, such as:

Sometimes the patient’s urinary dysfunction will be so severe that a catheter is required. The catheter may be indwelling, meaning it stays in place for a long period of time. Or the catheter may be intermittent, meaning it is used temporarily.

Cauda equina syndrome is most commonly associated with intermittent self-catheterisation, where the patient is taught how to use a catheter, should they have trouble emptying their bladder.

UTIs after cauda equina syndrome

One of the side effects of urinary dysfunction is recurrent urinary tract infections. This can occur firstly because the patient is not fully emptying their bladder. Incomplete emptying of the bladder will cause a small amount of urine to remain inside the body. This can collect bacteria and other debris, resulting in an infection.

Secondly, catheters can increase the risk of UTIs. This is because the tube is inserted into the body through the bladder or the urethra. Either way, it gives bacteria the chance to enter the urinary tract, thereby causing an infection.

Making a claim

If you have suffered permanent urinary dysfunction because your cauda equina syndrome was not treated in time, you should talk to a lawyer about your options. If the medical care fell below an acceptable standard, you could be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation.

For more information on medical compensation claims, please contact our team of cauda equina solicitors today.

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