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Cauda Equina Misdiagnosis
In excess of £500,000 for bungled Cauda Equina diagnosis

In excess of £500,000 for bungled Cauda Equina diagnosis

Despite exhibiting key features of Cauda Equina Syndrome, Michael's MRI scan and diagnosis were delayed by over 30 hours. Although he then underwent a decompression operation, he has been left with severe on-going problems.

In the autumn of 2011, Michael experienced severe pain down his left leg following a sudden movement of his back whilst at work.

He became unable to work and remained at home taking pain relief and anti-inflammatories. When his pain did not respond to this treatment, he went to see a GP at his local surgery, where he was given stronger pain relief and advised that he could undertake light work whilst he recovered.

Unfortunately, Michael awoke during the night three days later to discover that he had become incontinent and that the pain he had been experiencing had spread to both legs, meaning that he could barely walk. He went straight to his local A&E. During his early examinations, it was thought that he might have Cauda Equina Syndrome but it would not be possible to give him an MRI scan to confirm this until the following day.

The doctors on duty sought advice from colleagues at another hospital but it proved difficult to access expert opinion and no agreement was reached as to the likelihood of Michael suffering from Cauda Equina Syndrome. It was agreed that a scan should take place the following morning.

In the event, the MRI was not carried out until mid-afternoon of the following day, more than 34 hours after Michael had first arrived at A&E.

It was then established that Michael needed decompression surgery but, for that to occur, he would need to be transferred to another hospital. Michael was eventually transferred around midnight of his 2nd day in hospital. There was a further delay at this point until Michael finally underwent decompression surgery and a discectomy approximately 8 hours later. It is felt that this was approximately 44 hours later than he could have had surgery had he been managed appropriately from the time he arrived at A&E.

Michael is now in constant pain and has loss of sensation in the 'saddle' area. He suffers from bladder and bowel dysfunction. He needs to use a wheelchair and is unable to work. In addition, his injuries have left him depressed.

Furthermore, Michael experienced an injury during his decompression surgery which has led to weakness in his right ankle.

Had Michael undergone surgery as a matter of urgency on his first day in hospital, he may well have recovered fully from the symptoms he was experiencing.

We helped Michael in his claim against both NHS Trusts for delays in the diagnosis and treatment of Cauda Equina Syndrome, leading to his on-going symptoms. He was awarded in excess of £500,000.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed)

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