While the most common cause of paraplegia is trauma or an injury to the spinal cord as a result of a car crash or fall, it is also possible for someone to suffer paralysis as a result of a medical error. When any type of traumatic injury to the spinal cord or brain occurs due to medical negligence, paraplegia may be the result.
What Is Paraplegia?
Paraplegia is a condition that causes weakness or complete paralysis of the lower limbs. Paraplegics generally lose use of both of their legs and therefore the ability to stand and walk, and they often lose bladder and bowl control.
Paraplegia and Medical Malpractice
Although rare, it is possible for doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists to make critical mistakes and cause trauma to the spinal cord or brain when treating patients. This can occur as a result of the following errors:
- Surgical accidents. Although surgeons are highly trained to perform specialized operations such as brain surgery or spinal surgery, a slip of the scalpel can sever nerves and lead to paralysis.
- Anesthesia errors. When an anesthesiologist fails to monitor a patient’s oxygen levels and a patient is deprived of oxygen, hypoxia occurs which can cause paralysis.
- Untreated inflammation and infections. Following a back or brain surgery, it is possible for patients to develop serious infections. When these infections aren’t diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, they can put pressure on the spinal cord or brain, causing a loss of function and resulting in paralysis and other disabling conditions.
- Failure to diagnose and treat a tumor on the spine. When a patient presents symptoms of a spinal tumor to a doctor and that doctor fails to order the appropriate tests and conduct a thorough investigation of those symptoms, a patient may go months or years thinking they just have back pain. Sadly, a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose can leave a patient paralyzed.
Because paraplegics lose feeling and function of their legs, they require lifelong support and medical care such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and psychological therapy, which can be expensive. A medical malpractice claim may be your answer so that you can get the compensation you need to get the care you deserve. Please call us today for a complimentary consultation and learn more about your rights to a medical malpractice claim.