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£80,000 compensation after delay in diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome
Our client received £80,000 following the negligent delay in diagnosing and treating his cauda equina syndrome.
Cauda equina syndrome is where the nerves from the spinal cord become trapped/damaged and cause problems with the lower limbs together with bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction. The nerves come from the spinal cord down the legs in what has been described as a 'horse's tail' hence the term 'cauda equina'.
Failure to diagnose cauda equina syndrome
Our client had a pre-existing back problem which was awaiting treatment. However, he sustained injury to his back such that he was unable to move and caused him excessive pain. An ambulance was called which advised he be seen by his GP and then referred to hospital. This referral was made. Despite attending hospital with pain and signs of cauda equina syndrome (being numbness to the bottom/saddle area/genitals and legs) he was discharged without x-ray or MRI scan. He was seen at home by 2 different GPs with his symptoms continuing to worsen. It was only when he went into urinary retention and rang NHS Direct that a second ambulance was called and he was taken to a different hospital. He then underwent emergency spinal cord decompression surgery.
The surgery relieved him of the pain but didn't manage to relieve him of all his symptoms. He continued to have weakness in one leg and some sexual dysfunction as a result of the delay in treatment.
Liability was admitted on behalf of the hospital and he was awarded £80,000 in compensation. There was no negligence attributable to the GPs involved.
The case was funded by the Legal Services Commission and was settled after two years.
The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.
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