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Cauda Equina Misdiagnosis
Seven-figure Compensation for Complete Cauda Equina Syndrome

Seven-figure Compensation for Complete Cauda Equina Syndrome

A failure by the GP to recognise that James's symptoms warranted an emergency response means that our client has been left with the disabling symptoms of severe complete cauda equina syndrome.

When he developed lower back pain, radiating down his right leg, James arranged to see his GP. He was diagnosed with sciatica and given pain relief. Returning to the GP practice a fortnight later, his diagnosis remained the same and he was prescribed further pain relief.

Unfortunately, James's symptoms then began to deteriorate. Within a couple of days, his pain had started to affect both legs and the following day, he found that he was having difficulty urinating. This symptom had not been mentioned to James as a red flag symptom so he waited until the following day, a Monday, before seeking medical help.

James contacted his GP practice and arranged for a home visit as he was in so much pain by this time that he was barely able to stand.

The GP carried out a limited examination of James who explained that he was also struggling to urinate and that he had been experiencing bowel symptoms for a couple of days. The GP gave James a prescription for pain relief and laxatives and said he would arrange for James to undergo an urgent MRI scan. Based on James's red flag symptoms, this should have been an immediate referral for an emergency scan.

Had James been referred for an emergency MRI, it is likely that surgery to decompress his spine would have taken place within a matter of hours and he would not then have suffered the deterioration in his condition which has rendered him disabled today.

When James's bladder symptoms deteriorated still further a few days later, his wife rang NHS 111. James was diagnosed by the paramedic with cauda equina syndrome and, within twelve hours, he had been admitted to hospital, undergone an MRI scan and received decompression surgery.

Unfortunately, by the time surgery was carried out, James's neurological damage and dysfunction had developed to such an extent that his symptoms had become permanent.

He suffers with severe mobility issues as well as bowel and bladder problems. He is unable to work.

James was concerned about the quality of care he had received from his GP and sought help from Glynns to investigate the possibility of a compensation claim.

Our medical experts found that, had James's GP carried out a more thorough examination of him during the home visit, it is likely that his red flag symptoms would have been confirmed, leading to an immediate referral for specialist input and surgery would probably have been carried out before he developed completed cauda equina syndrome.

As a consequence of the impact which his substandard care has had on his life, James has received over £1,000,000 in compensation.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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