Posted on August 17, 2012 by Fast Lawsuit Team
Cauda Equina Syndrome or CES is a form of spinal cord injury that can have very serious health and physical implications. The cauda equina (which stands for “horse’s tail” in Latin) is composed of the nerves located at the base of the spine. This set of nerves and nerve roots go downwards, towards the thighs, buttocks, legs, saddle area and the rectal sphincter. The roots at the end of these nerves are responsible for the legs, bladders and bowel’s motor and sensory functions.
Cauda Equina Syndrome may be caused by the following:
- Inflammation, where there is a spinal abscess
- Trauma, due to a penetrating wound or a spinal fracture
- Nerve compression due to spinal injury, such as a prolapsed disc
- Overstretching, so that one vertebrae slips atop another
- Existence of tumors in the spine
- Mistakes made during a spinal tap or a lumbar puncture
Symptoms of CES can include:
- Problems in urination
- Weakness and lack of sensation in the legs
- Pain in the hips, legs, buttocks and inner thighs
- Constipation or altered bowel function
Cauda Equina Syndrome is a condition that requires immediate medical attention. The existence of CES may be seen through a CT scan or an MRI scan. If the doctor suspects or has reason to suspect CES, he may need to operate on the area to prevent further decompression, which can lead to permanent neurological damage. The doctor may also provide anti-inflammatory or antibiotic medications or steroids to treat the swollen area.
In most cases, the doctor has a 24 to 48-hour window in which to act in order to decompress the swollen area. When the doctor acts within this time frame, the patient can survive CES without suffering any damage. The longer the delay in treating the condition, the higher the probability of suffering from permanent neurological damage.
Medical Malpractice for CES
When a doctor delays in diagnosing and responding to CES, the patient can suffer permanent injuries and disability. The damage can include:
- Paralysis of the legs down (partial or total)
- Chronic pain in the legs, thighs, lower back, buttocks and pelvic area
- Disability in terms of bladder and bowel control
- Loss of feelings in the feet and legs
- Sexual dysfunction
A patient who suffers the damage from CES may be forced into a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He may also need to install adaptive equipment in his home or require a third party carer to deal with everyday responsibilities and tasks.
Claiming for Clinical Negligence
If you or a loved one is a victim of permanent damages due to a doctor’s failure to promptly act on Cauda Equina Syndrome, you can file for compensation against the erring doctor. A doctor who fails to perform a detailed examination and act promptly can be held liable for the damages the patient has sustained.
To claim for compensation for the personal injury suffered due to a doctor’s negligence, there are a number of things that the complainant has to show.
The complainant should show:
- The doctor’s failure to provide the necessary tests and make a thorough examination
- The doctor’s failure to see the patient’s symptoms and worsening condition, as well as properly diagnose CES in a timely manner
- The doctor’s failure to act upon the CES promptly
- This negligence has resulted into personal injury for the complainant
- The doctor’s acted in a way that is contrary to what any other reasonable practitioner would have acted
Proving medical malpractice for CES is complicated, as you will need the advice of a medical specialist. When filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must also remember that there are time limits for you to file your complaint. Usually, victims have three years to file the complaint.
A victim can claim for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of amenity or loss of use
- Compensation for loss of income and/or loss of job
- Costs for housing modifications, care and equipment
When you have filed a personal injury claim for CES, it can be helpful to consider lawsuit funding. This can help provide funds for you to pay for medical expenses, as well as hire medical experts to provide their objective opinion with regards to your case.
This lawsuit settlement loan can help tide you over during a time when medical expenses, mounting debts and household accounts, court-related costs all threaten to put you under financially. With the money from the settlement funding, you can be free of worries and can concentrate on your medical treatments, as well as on the lawsuit at hand.