The effects of spinal cord injuries can be significant and devastating, for both the patients and their families. Dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of an injury like this is difficult enough—but knowing it was caused by the negligence of a trusted medical professional can make it almost unbearable.
Spinal cord injuries can change a person’s life dramatically, resulting in health problems like paralysis, difficulty breathing, and chronic pain. Doctors and other medical professionals must be held to the highest standards when working with the spine, one of the most delicate and important parts of the human body, otherwise they are putting their patients at risk of medical malpractice.
Approximately 12,500 spinal cord injuries (SCIs) occur each year in the United States, and about 276,000 people currently live with SCIs. The spinal cord itself is a collection of nerves that travel from the brain down the back, and works with the brain to control the muscles that move the arms and legs, as well as control functioning of the organs. Experiencing a spinal cord injury can disrupt or sever these signals and cause profound health problems.
When does malpractice lead to a spinal cord injury?
The majority of spinal cord injuries are the result of accidents, like car crashes, falls, or violence. However, some occur due to medical negligence. Some of the more common ways malpractice can cause an SCI include:
- Emergency room errors. When a spinal fracture or broken back is misdiagnosed during ER care, it can lead to a worsened or permanent injury. A common mistake is failure to properly immobilize a patient’s neck and head, or moving a patient incorrectly, exacerbating the injury.
- Surgery mistakes. Surgery is a delicate process, and surgery of the spine is an even more sensitive procedure. Patients must be positioned correctly, monitored properly, with an experienced surgeon, or errors can occur that can leave a patient with a serious SCI.
- Anesthesia errors. Improper administration of anesthesia during a procedure has many risks, including improper intubation, anesthesia awareness from delivering too little of the drug, or failure to monitor the patient.
- Chiropractic malpractice. Chiropractic treatments can involve manipulation of the spine and neck. If a chiropractor doesn’t work with the utmost care during adjustment procedures, a patient can be left with spinal cord trauma.
When the spinal cord is injured
An injury to the spinal cord is specific to the area of injury. The higher up on the spine the injury occurs, the worse the injury. Spinal cord injury can result in some or even all of these complications:
- Loss of sensation
- Chronic pain
- Health issues
Victims of spinal cord injuries can face lifelong medical bills, pain, loss of wages, and decreased quality of life. The medical malpractice attorneys at Yeboah Law Group work for you to seek compensation for your injuries and to hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence. Call our Fort Lauderdale lawyers today at 1-800-TELL-SAM or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.