If a spinal abscess injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Spinal abscess injuries due to medical negligence can lead to compensation claims that cover extensive medical treatment and potential long-term disability.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a spinal abscess injury, we can help. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, midwife or other medical professional, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist clinical negligence solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
A spinal abscess is an infection of the tissues that surround the spinal cord, characterised by the build up of a pus-filled sac. The condition is caused by bacteria entering the spine, usually after a back injury or trauma.
Spinal abscesses may also develop as a complication of medical procedures such as epidural anaesthesia or catheterisation of the spine.
Since antibiotics have been routinely used during medical procedures, spinal abscesses have become extremely rare. When they do occur, however, these abscess can have very serious consequences. Any delay in detecting and treating a spinal abscess is capable of causing permanent paralysis and damage to the spinal cord.
If you have suffered a spinal abscess after receiving substandard medical treatment, or experienced a delay in diagnosis or treatment of an abscess, you may be eligible to make a medical negligence claim.
If you decide to make a spinal abscess injury claim, your medical negligence solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Do I qualify for spinal abscess injury compensation?
If you received treatment from a medical professional that fell below the accepted standard of care, and you were harmed as a result, you can claim compensation for medical negligence.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
How long after a spinal abscess injury do I have to claim compensation?
For a spinal abscess injury claim, you usually have 3 years to make a claim from the date you became aware that the harm you suffered was caused by substandard treatment (date of knowledge).
The 3 year limitation period does not apply to minors (under 18s). A parent, guardian or litigation friend can start a claim on a child's behalf up to their 18th birthday and the child has until their 21st birthday to claim for themselves.
How much compensation can I claim for a spinal abscess injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Spinal abscess injury
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General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying for loss of earnings (including future earnings loss and retraining costs), damage to clothing, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as emergency surgery, antibiotics, pain medication and physical therapy.
Spinal abscess symptoms
A spinal abscess injury may initially present no symptoms. As the abscess grows, the patient may begin to experience the following:
- Numbness and tingling in a localised area of the skin
- Pain in the back which radiates to the hips, legs and arms
- Rapid progressive weakness or paralysis
- Urinary or bowel incontinence
Because the initial symptoms are vague and may indicate many diseases, doctors will try to detect the presence of an infection with a blood test. Medical staff may also look at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the spinal cord or test a sample of cerebrospinal fluid. Fluid is extracted from the spine using a procedure known as a lumbar puncture.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the recommended treatment is to drain the abscess and flush out the bacteria using a saline fluid. The patient is usually given intravenous antibiotics to prevent further infection.
Making a claim for a spinal abscess injury
Early diagnosis is critical to the chances of a patient making a full recovery from a spinal abscess injury. Left untreated, the abscess could burst allowing millions of bacteria to spread throughout the . An enlarged abscess could also compress the spinal cord leading to neurological conditions such as paralysis, incontinence and nerve loss. In some cases, a spinal abscess can be life-threatening.
Medical staff owe a duty of care to provide treatment in a professional and timely manner. A claim may arise whenever this duty is breached and the patient suffers injury as a result. Examples include:
- A delay in diagnosing the spinal abscess
- Failure to treat the spinal abscess as an emergency case
- Incomplete draining of a spinal abscess resulting in further infection, spinal compression or scarring
- Surgical error during a spinal epidural, lumbar puncture or catheterisation procedure
- Errors in the delivery of post-operative care.
This list is not exhaustive. A claim may be made whenever it can be shown that the medical practitioner behaved in a manner which dropped below reasonably expected standards. The arguments will often be highly technical, revolving around the details of extensive medical reports.
Clinical negligence claims
Spinal abscess injuries are usually categorised as clinical negligence. Click on the icon below for more information.
How we can help you with your medical negligence claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning medical negligence claims.
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Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.