Hospital Negligence Case Study - Cauda Equina

Hospital Negligence Case Study - Cauda Equina

Cauda Equina Claim

Our client, who suffered with existing back problems, attended Barnsley Accident and Emergency after experiencing numbness and incontinence.

The hospital failed to appreciate the extent of her condition or the significance of the symptoms that indicated a developing cauda equina syndrome (disc pressure causing nerve injury which if not dealt with urgently can lead to permanent nerve damage, this can affect mobility, bowel, bladder and sexual function).

She was discharged from the hospital after being told that her symptoms were gynaecological. It was not until a private referral to a neurosurgeon was arranged by her GP in late January 2003 that her condition was properly diagnosed.

Although she underwent urgent surgery, the damage was by then permanent. A claim was brought against the hospital for negligently failing to appreciate the seriousness of her condition. This was despite a detailed and thorough neurological assessment by an orthopaedic SHO whose findings were not properly recognised by more senior staff.

It was alleged that an urgent CT scan (computed tomography scan) should have been performed followed by surgery and that if this had been done our client would have made a full recovery.

Barnsley Hospital admitted medical negligence and the cauda equina claim was recently settled for £530,000 to compensate for past, ongoing and future care, therapies, aids and equipment, transport and accommodation adaptations. When the case was settled, our client was just 38 years old.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of undiagnosed cauda equina sydrome, we may be able to help you claim compensation. See our Medical Negligence Guide for more information.

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