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Case Study: GP & Hospital Errors Lead to Cauda Equina Syndrome
Compensation: £2.75 million
Jean was left severely debilitated after appalling errors were made in the treatment of cauda equina syndrome by both a GP and a hospital. After contacting the specialist solicitors at JMW for advice, Jean’s case was taken on by Melissa Gardner who secured £2.75 million in compensation to enable her to cope with her disabilities.
One morning Jean began to experience lower back pain. The following day the pain was still there and later that evening it increased significantly and Jean knew that she needed to obtain medical help.
The following morning she called her GP practice as soon as it opened and told the receptionist that she was suffering with considerable pain in her back. The receptionist said that she would relay this information to the doctor and seek his advice.
Jean heard nothing more so called the surgery again; however it took further calls from Jean to get any kind of a response from the surgery. Jean even explained that her condition had deteriorated and she was having difficulty passing urine, which led to her being told that the doctor was preparing a prescription for strong painkillers and this would be available to collect that afternoon.
Jean’s husband collected the prescription but the tablets did little to relieve the pain Jean was in. Later that night she called the GP’s out of hours service and a doctor came out to see her. He found that she had lost feeling in her lower back and her perineum. By this point Jean had not passed urine for hours and the doctor arranged her emergency admission to hospital.
Jean arrived at hospital at 10.45pm, many hours after she had first sought help from her GP practice earlier that morning. She was examined by an orthopaedic surgeon and despite the fact that she has not passed urine for several hours, had severe back pain and numbness in her perianal area he concluded that she was probably not suffering from cauda equina syndrome.
Jean was admitted to hospital and her spine X-Rayed and it was decided she ‘might’ need an MRI scan in the morning. In actual fact Jean required an MRI scan very urgently.
In the morning the doctors conducted their ward round and found Jean’s bladder was very full and that she was unable to pass urine without difficulties. An urgent MRI scan was ordered as it was suspected that her urinary problems were due to cauda equina syndrome.
Despite the urgency of Jean’s situation and the limited time that is available to successfully treat cauda equina syndrome the MRI was not carried out until two days later. The scan revealed a large abscess in Jean’s spine and she was transferred to a larger hospital for specialist spinal surgery.
By the time Jean arrived at the neurosurgical unit of the hospital she had lost feeling in the lower section of her spine. Feeling and control of her legs and feet was also lost. The surgical team found that that the abscess was pressurising Jean’s nerves at the base of her spine, which is why she had all the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome.
The abscess was drained and antibiotics provided to Jean however by now it was too late to prevent permanent nerve damage and Jean was left with life-long disabilities and pain, as well as bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction.
After Jean was put in touch with the medical negligence specialists at JMW, her case was taken on by Melissa Gardner. Melissa successfully argued that that the errors on the part of both the GP and hospital had caused appalling delays to urgently needed surgery and this meant that 24-48 hour window to operate successfully was lost. If it had not then Jean would have made a full recovery and the cauda equina syndrome would not have become permanent.
Melissa then negotiated a compensation settlement of £2.75 million for Jean to help her to cope with the financial implications of her severe disabilities.
Have you also suffered negligence related to 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.
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.