Case study: Cauda Equina Syndrome misdiagnosed as Sciatica - £500,000
A hospital initially misdiagnosed Steven’s red flag signs of serious spinal condition cauda equina syndrome as sciatica and sent him home. Several other errors were made by hospital staff and also his GP which meant that his condition went undiagnosed, causing his spine to be permanently damaged. As a result of this negligence Steven is permanently disabled, can no longer work and needs much help and assistance.
Sciatica misdiagnosis at A&E
Steven’s ordeal began when he was awoken one night with severe pain in his lower back. As the pain got gradually worse it spread to his buttocks and his right leg. Steven tried to contact his GP but as it was a Sunday he was referred to an out-of-hours service. Steven was told to attend hospital, where he was given a diagnosis of sciatica and after being given pain relief was discharged home.
Sent home by GP
However Steven’s pain did not subside and struggling to manage with on Monday it he went to see his GP. Steven’s GP was not very helpful and told him simply to go home and rest. However Steven’s pain was becoming worse than ever and was affecting all areas of his life. He could not sleep or find any comfortable position to rest in. Worryingly Steven was also starting to experience spasms in his buttock.
Further misdiagnosis at A&E
The next day Steven’s condition took a concerning turn for the worse. As the spasms and pain continued he also found his bowels and bladder were not working as they should. Steven and his wife went to A&E where he was given a diagnosis of a slipped disc and again sent away with pain relief. However the doctor who examined him had failed to appreciate that his symptoms were consistent with cauda equina syndrome, which represented a surgical emergency. The doctor failed to make vital checks and give proper advice and discharged him with a muscle relaxant and pain relief.
Further GP negligence
Steven’s troubles continued at home so again contacted his GP the following day. No questions about his bowel and bladder function were asked and Steven was merely given another prescription for pain relief.
Correct diagnosis at fifth time of asking
The next day Steven’s nightmare continued so he went back to A&E. He eventually underwent an MRI scan which revealed a large prolapsed disc and he was taken for surgery to relieve the pressure it was placing on his cauda equina nerves. However if Steven had been treated appropriately by the hospital doctors and GPs who saw him previously then he would have undergone surgery in time to prevent permanent damage and he could have recovered.
Steven’s case was taken on by the medical law experts at Hospital Negligence who fought for justice on his behalf. After our intervention, he was awarded £500,000 in compensation to help Steven to cope with his disabilities.
We can help you claim if you have also suffered misdiagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome
If you have suffered from a misdiagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome, contact the expert team at Hospital Negligence today to find out if you can make a claim. Call us on 0800 014 7481, or fill in our contact form. Alternatively, read another case study here.