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Case Study: Failure to Recognise Risks Leads to Cauda Equina Syndrome
Trisha, 36-year-old, London
A woman has successfully acquired £250,000 compensation after doctors failed to recognise the risk of the development of cauda equina syndrome.
Trisha had suffered with back pain since she was 20 years old. Between the age of 25 years old and 33 years old she visited her GP on numerous occasions complaining of low back pain and sciatica. Her GP referred her to the pain clinic at her local hospital for epidural injections, which were partially successful.
Potential for CES missed during MRI
When she turned 34 she underwent an MRI scan which showed some degree of lumbar disc herniation and degeneration at L4/L5. Her symptoms continued for two years when her condition worsened.
That summer Trisha was taken by ambulance at 10pm one day to the A+E department at the same hospital complaining of severe pain and perineal numbness. The symptoms were so bad that she was unable to stand. She was admitted to the ward and by midday the following day she was unable to pass urine and was catheterised.
She was then transferred to a specialist Neuro-Surgery centre by ambulance arriving at 2.30pm. An MRI scan taken shortly afterwards showed a large disc protrusion severely compressing the nerves of the cauda equina.
She underwent spinal decompression surgery at 7pm the same day and was then transferred back to her local hospital where she remained until her discharge 4 weeks later.
Long term effects
Following surgery Trisha developed bladder and bowel dysfunction, both of which are permanent. She self-catheterises several times a day and manages her bowels by manual evacuation and modification of her diet. Not surprisingly, as a consequence of these difficulties Trisha has developed a depression for which she requires cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
JMW Solicitors alleged that the hospital was negligent in failing to recognise the risk of development of cauda equina syndrome (CES) following the MRI scan when she was 34, and failing to offer surgery at that time. It was also alleged that the hospital delayed performing an MRI scan following Trisha’s admission to hospital on and also delayed her transfer for surgery.
It was also alleged that if the MRI scan had been performed soon after admission to the A+E department.
The case settled and Trisha was awarded £250,000 compensation for her claim.
Have you also suffered from a failure to recognise the risks 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 situation, 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.