Cauda equina syndrome misdiagnosis woman payout

Michelle Chapman Michelle Chapman said her life had been 'demolished' by the mistake

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A Leicestershire woman has received compensation after a hospital failed to spot a condition which has left her disabled.

Michelle Chapman, 45, from Melton, went to the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) in May 2007 with suspected cauda equina syndrome - a type of nerve damage.

A junior doctor sent her home and she now needs crutches to walk.

The hospital has apologised, paid out a "substantial" sum and insisted "lessons had been learned".

Ms Chapman had been suffering from numbness in her legs and her GP alerted her to cauda equina syndrome, where pressure on the base of the spine affects major nerves.

Investigation 'shared'

When the symptoms became worse she went to the LRI and mentioned the condition but instead of being given an MRI scan, was sent home.

By the time it was spotted, permanent damage had been done.

Ms Chapman said: "Before, I used to like push-biking, doing things with my children and being independent.

"Now I am unable to do all of that, I have a weak left leg, I can't feel the outside of my leg, my heels I can't feel, I need my crutches permanently.

"By just not sending me for a scan, they have totally demolished my whole life for me - I am never going to be the person I was."

Solicitor Mehmooda Duke said the doctor's mistake had serious results: "There was a suspicion of cauda equina syndrome, he had a look and he said 'No there was no cauda equina syndrome'.

"What he should have done is send her for an MRI scan and he didn't do that. Had he done so Michelle would have been a different lady today."

The amount of the compensation has not been disclosed but Ms Chapman said she would not have to work again.

A spokesman for Leicester's Hospitals accepted she should have been sent for a scan and the results of an investigation into the case had been shared with staff "to minimise the likelihood of a similar incident happening again".

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