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Case Study: Delay in Treating Cauda Equina Syndrome
JMW has secured a £250,000 settlement for a woman who was diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome following a delay in treatment.
For several months 24-year-old Joanne had been experiencing intermittent back pain. She consulted her GP who examined her and found nothing of note. He reassured her that back pain is very common and prescribed pain killers.
Paramedics fail to take Joanne to hospital
For the next eight months the pain continued intermittently and then suddenly one morning became much worse accompanied by numbness in both legs and pins and needles in the feet. Joanne realised something was seriously wrong and called 999 for an ambulance, which arrived quickly.
Joanne was examined by one of the paramedics who, despite recording that she had numbness in both legs, said that she was suffering from sciatica and advised her that she did not need to attend hospital.
Joanne rested at home for the next few hours during which time the numbness extended to the perineal area (saddle anaesthesia) and she had no sensation when she passed urine. The GP was contacted and when told of Joanne symptoms advised that she should immediately go to A&E. There was some delay in being seen by a doctor despite Joanne having all the ‘red flag’ signs of CES and a definite diagnosis was not made until three hours later.
An MRI scan confirmed that a huge disc prolapse was severely compressing the nerves of the cauda equina. There was then a further delay of a couple of hours before it was decided that Joanne required immediate emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on the spinal nerves.
Unfortunately all the theatres were being used for other emergency cases and the surgery did not take place until 10.30 the next morning – 24 hours after her symptoms first began.
If Joanne had been transported to the hospital by the ambulance during the morning it is likely that she would have undergone surgery that same afternoon or evening before the damage to the spinal nerves became irreversible.
The delay in treating Joanne has had a devastating effect on her life. She is disabled by constant back pain, made worse by sitting and walking, has poor bladder and bowel control and no genital sensation. In such a young woman this is particularly distressing and not surprisingly Joanne has become very depressed.
The ambulance service admitted that they were negligent in not transporting Joanne to hospital and the case was settled by one of JMW’s expert lawyers for £250,000.
Have you or a loved one also suffered from a delay in treatment of cauda equina syndrome?
Other Case Studies
Failure to properly investigate and treat suspected Cauda Equina Syndrome has resulted in a woman receiving £4.37 million compensation.
Spinal injury specialists at JMW obtained £2.75 million in compensation for Jean after appalling errors led to her suffering permanent cauda equina syndrome. This case study tells Jean's story.
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.