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Case Study: Delay in Diagnosis and Treatment of Cauda Equina Syndrome
A man has been awarded £225,000 in compensation after nurses failed to ensure a prompt diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome which has led to numerous ongoing complications.
Aaron was left with bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction after a nurse failed to ensure he received a prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment of cauda equina syndrome. Aaron’s condition has caused problems with his job and in his personal life. After contacting the specialist solicitors at JMW for advice Aaron’s case was taken on by one of our cauda equina syndrome experts and he was later awarded £225,000 in compensation.
Red flag signs
Aaron’s problems began with lower back pain that started one month and got progressively worse with shooting pains in his legs that pain relief failed to address. When Aaron began to experience pins and needles in both of his feet he took himself to an NHS walk-in centre to get checked out.
Aaron was asked to provide a urine sample and found that he struggled to do so. At the same time he also noticed he had reduced sensation in his scrotum. He was seen by a nurse and described his symptoms and was told that he needed to see a doctor.
About an hour later Aaron was seen by another medical professional who he presumed to be a doctor after the comment by the nurse. However in actual fact this was a nurse practioner, who found it necessary to look up his symptoms on the internet to try to provide a diagnosis. The nurse gave Aaron diazepam as she believed his problem to be muscular and discharged him with advice to see GP and to return if his condition got worse or failed to improve.
The following day Aaron was very concerned to find that his pain and abnormal sensation was even worse and he and his wife went straight to A&E at the local hospital. Aaron had lost sensation in his body from the waist down, had no urge to pass urine and could not feel anything when he did so. He was unable to open his bowels and the shooting pains were continuing in his legs.
An A&E doctor examined Aaron and correctly suspected that he was potentially suffering from cauda equina syndrome and referred him to specialist orthopaedic doctors. The specialist doctors agreed with this opinion and organised an urgent MRI scan which revealed that a large disc at the bottom of Aaron’s spine had slipped out of place and was putting pressure on the cauda equina nerves that control sensation and bowel, bladder and sexual function.
The next day Aaron underwent surgery to relieve the pressure however by now it was too late to save him from permanent neurological damage. If the nurse who had seen him at the walk-in centre had recognised the red flag signs of cauda equina syndrome and referred him urgently to hospital, Aaron would have undergone surgery much sooner and his cauda equina syndrome would have been successfully treated. The nurse should also have ensured Aaron was seen by a doctor as he had clear neurological symptoms that may have been beyond her level of expertise to diagnose.
Feeling something had gone badly wrong with his care Aaron contacted the experts at JMW for advice. His case was taken on by JMW, who successfully challenged his delayed treatment and secured £225,000 in compensation to help Aaron to cope with his permanent disabilities.
Have you also suffered from delayed diagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome?
If you would like to find out more about any of the topics discussed above, or how we can help you in your particular circumstances, simply get in touch with our expert and friendly team.
More Case Studies
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Eddie Jones, head of medical negligence at JMW, secured £2.6 million for a woman whose life was devastated by negligent cauda equina syndrome care.
JMW partner Melissa Gardner secured £2 million for 'Tracy' after her life was devastated by errors in the treatment of her cauda equina syndrome. This case study explains what went wrong and how Melissa helped Tracy.
Claire lost her business and marriage after appalling errors allowed her red flag signs of cauda equina syndrome to go untreated. Claire was left permanently disabled but Eddie Jones as JMW obtained her £925,000 in compensation to help her to cope.
Jim had an attack of sciatica at work, it didn't get better with rest and his GP suspected cauda equina syndrome and sent him to a hospital for investigation. His condition wasn't initially properly diagnosed and got worse and has led to long term suffering.
Peter was left with permanent bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction, as well as disability and constant pain after delayed treatment of his cauda equina syndrome. As a result he lost his job and struggles with day-to-day tasks such as caring for his children.
Tina had a history of lower back pain and had consulted her GP on a number of occasions. One day she had a particularly severe episode of back pain that was unresponsive to pain relief.
Donna attended her GP with lower back pain and sciatica in her left leg worsening over the previous 2 weeks. She was referred to an orthopaedic consultant at her local hospital.
Paul had a long history of lower back pain and when he was 35 years old, he underwent a laminectomy for removal of a prolapsed intervertebral disc. This was only partially successful and he continued to suffer episodic lower back pain.
'John' now relies on a wheelchair for getting about outdoors after appalling delays to surgery he needed urgently to treat cauda equina syndrome. Steven Brown, a senior associate in JMW's specialist medical negligence team secured John £280,000 in compensation to help him cope with his permanent disabilities.
Joanne was left with permanent bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction after delays in recognising her cauda equina syndrome. Her case was taken on by JMW Solicitors and she was awarded £250,000 in compensation.
Find out how we helped Tricia to claim £250,000 after medical professionals failed to recognise the risks of cauda equina syndrome.
Aaron was awarded £225,000 in compensation after JMW challenged the poor care that he faced when his Cauda Equina Syndrome was missed by medical professionals. This case study tells his story.
Tony had a long history of lower back pain and sciatica.However, when he was 48 years old he suffered a recurrence of his symptoms. After a month his condition became much more severe and so visited his GP, who prescribed pain relief. JMW claimed £150,000 for the claimant due to clinical negligence.
Gerard had a long history of lower back pain and had attended an osteopath as well as his GP on a number of occasions. He had become depressed since the recent death of his partner.
Collette, 39, had her life devastated by appalling delays to urgently needed spinal surgery. Eddie Jones, head of medical negligence at JMW helped her to win her battle for justice, paving the way for compensation to be secured.
'Michael' suffered negligent diagnosis of cauda equina and received £425,000 in compensation with the help of JMW's Steven Brown.