Case study: client awarded £1m for Cauda Equina claim

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Whilst rare, Cauda Equina Syndrome is a serious condition that occurs when the nerves at the base of the spine become trapped.

Early diagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome is vital. It’s considered to be a surgical emergency and quick treatment of the condition is essential.

A failure to diagnose Cauda Equina can lead to permanent damage to the nerves which serve the bowel and bladder, as well as decreased mobility and persistent pain. In fact, just a short delay – even by a day or two – can mean the difference between a full recovery and long-term health problems.

If you’ve suffered due to a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim, as this case study demonstrates.

Our client, Mrs T, was admitted to hospital showing signs of Cauda Equina Syndrome. After examination, she was discharged, however her symptoms – which included pain, an inability to pass urine or faeces – persisted and she was readmitted two days later.

This time Cauda Equina was diagnosed and she was transferred to another hospital for emergency surgery the following day.

Following surgery, our client suffered with considerable and persistent pain in her back and left leg and this severely affected her mobility. She also experienced altered perianal sensation as well as bowel and urinary symptoms arising from her treatment.

The hospital trust admitted that Mrs T had suffered some on-going incontinence symptoms as a result of the delay in making the diagnosis.

However they denied that our client’s impaired mobility and back pain could be attributed to their failure to diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome during Mrs T’s first hospital assessment.

We obtained a number of reports from leading Cauda Equina specialists, all of whom confirmed that in the absence of negligence and on the balance of probabilities, Mrs T would have made a full recovery to her former condition.

The matter ultimately settled for £1million, 18 days before the start of trial.

Further information

For help and information on making a Cauda Equina claim, speak to our medical negligence solicitors in Bristol on 0117 325 2929or complete our online enquiry form.


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