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Clinical negligence update

Jock Mackenzie examines four cases considering the rules on the determination of causation

19 March 2012

In Nasir Hussain v Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2011] EWHC 2914 (QB), Coulson J had to consider the approach to be taken in a case of cauda equina syndrome (CES) where the court had to determine what difference a 48-hour delay in surgery was likely to have made to the outcome.

The claimant had undergone surgery for a degenerative disease of his spine in 2005. He was admitted to the defendant hospital on 27 August 2006 after developing progressive lower back symptoms from June 2006. By midday the following day he had lost sensation below the waist and by about 2pm it became apparent that his bladder was full. The following morning, CES was considered and a subsequent MRI scan the next day, 30 August, confirmed the diagnosis of CES. Surgery was carried out later that day. The claimant was left with a complete loss of sensation from his groin downwards, and bowel and bladder incontinence, the latter requiring an indwelling catheter.

The defendan...

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