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How Can Medical Malpractice Cause a Spinal Cord Injury?

Medical malpractice, or the negligent mistakes of a medical provider, can cause serious patient injuries, including damage to a victim’s spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries are extremely serious and can cause medical conditions that may last a lifetime, such as paralysis. If a patient suffers a preventable spinal cord injury because of medical malpractice, he or she may be able to recover financial compensation. Speak to a spinal cord injury attorney in Philadelphia to discuss the details of your unique case.

Surgical Errors

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are approximately 18,000 new spinal cord injury victims in the U.S. each year. Medical malpractice is responsible for about 3.7 percent of all spinal cord injuries. A negligent physician could cause a patient’s spinal cord injury in many ways, including surgical errors. Medical malpractice can result in spine injury in a number of ways, including:

  • Anesthesia errors
  • Improper patient positioning
  • Injuring spinal nerves
  • Improper neuromonitoring
  • Using nonsterile tools and causing an infection
  • Failing to timely diagnose and treat spinal epidural abscess
  • Leaving behind a foreign object inside the body
  • Wrong patient or body part surgery

From traumatic needle insertion while anesthetizing a patient to causing an infection of the spinal cord with unsanitary instruments, a negligent surgeon or surgical team can unintentionally cause a spinal cord injury to a patient in many different ways. Mistakes during an operation can lead to an injured patient having good cause to file a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon or surgical center.

Emergency Room Mistakes

Emergency rooms can be chaotic and busy places, with negligent staff members that make mistakes and injure patients. If an emergency room physician or staff member does not pay enough attention when treating a patient, the patient could be misdiagnosed or prematurely discharged. Emergency room errors can cause or exacerbate a spinal cord injury by failing to give the patient the proper treatment. Failing to immobilize a patient with a potential spinal fracture, for example, could worsen the injury.

Failure to Diagnose

It is a physician’s responsibility to promptly and properly diagnose a patient based on the symptoms he or she is presenting, a physical exam and medical testing. If a doctor negligently makes a misdiagnosis, delays a diagnosis or fails to diagnose a patient, this could cause or contribute to a spinal cord injury. Failing to diagnose meningitis, for example, could cause brain damage, mobility problems and paralysis. Other examples include failure to diagnose a ruptured disk, spinal stenosis or a spinal abscess.

Birth Injuries

Many different types of medical malpractice during pregnancy, labor and delivery can cause spinal cord injuries to the baby or mother. For example, mistakes when administering the epidural could lead to spine injuries in the mother caused by the needle or catheter. In addition, improper delivery methods could lead to birth injuries to the infant, such as a fractured or injured spine.

Compensation for a Spine Injury Caused by Medical Malpractice

Any time a doctor or health care provider falls short of the standard of patient care and injures a patient, he or she can be held accountable with a medical malpractice claim. Spinal cord injuries are among the most devastating and life-changing injuries that a person can suffer, and spinal cord injury victims require a lifetime of expensive medical care and assistance with activities of daily living. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a spine injury that you believe was caused by medical negligence, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer today to investigate a potential lawsuit to recover financial compensation.

The financial recovery available for a victim of malpractice may include related medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Discuss the potential value of a medical malpractice claim with an attorney at Youman & Caputo for more information.