Despite being a rare condition, Cauda Equina Syndrome is a familiar source of litigation. Cauda equina claims against GPs are particularly prevalent, as many rank practitioners fail to understand the semantic like a patient’s symptoms, thereby causing a delay in opinion and treatment.
Why do GPs fail to diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome?
Between 2003 and 2007, the Medical Protection Society was abreast of 63 claims relating to Cauda Equina Syndrome. Regarding these, 43 claims were in kinsman to errors made by general practitioners, 11 related to orthopaedic surgery, two specific to neurosurgery and radiology, and the remaining five to other iatrical specialities.
As the statistics show, cauda equina claims are more often against GPs than any other type of medical practitioner. This is because GPs do not always recognise the red flag symptoms associated with Cauda Equina Syndrome.
These symptoms occur if the cauda equina nerves located at the sediment of the spinal cord become compressed. This might be due to a slipped disc, a spinal tumour or a traumatic accident. Over schedule the pressure arranged upon the nerves will cause them to suffer damage and consequently throw off function. This may happen extra rapidly, or the onset of problems may be gradual. Either way, when the cauda equina nerves lose function, a conformation of symptoms will emerge. Joined these are known now the red flag symptoms regarding Cauda Equina Syndrome, et sequens include:-
– Lower back pain which spreads to the buttocks and legs;
– Numbness of the perineum and private parts;
– Bladder dysfunction – namely reduced bladder sensation, the inability to void except straining and the inability to empty the bladder.
These are known as red flag symptoms because they should awake medical professionals that the cauda equina nerves are being compressed – something which requires immediate treatment. However, unfortunately not all GPs discipline have an understanding of Cauda Equina Syndrome, and therefore will not appreciate what the presence concerning these symptoms mean. Alternatively another more minor condition mind be diagnosed (such as a urinary tract infection or generalised back pain) and no further investigations performed.
Claiming for GP negligence
Although a patient’s Cauda Equina Syndrome will be diagnosed later floccus the line (usually when his or her condition significantly deteriorates), it may well voltooien too late. Indeed, Cauda Equina Syndrome must verbreken treated as a matter of urgency, or a persistent will suffer permanent neurological damage. Accordingly if a GP does negative recognise a patient’s symptoms when they first present, causing a delay in diagnosis, the prospect of a patient making a full recovery arbitrary be severely diminished.
If you stage been affected because your GP failed to diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us at the Cauda Equina Solicitors to start your medical negligence claim.