Someone who undergoes surgery is usually aware that there are risks associated with the procedure and that a positive outcome cannot be guaranteed. However, no one wants to believe that they may be harmed during surgery because an anesthesiologist is not paying attention or a surgeon makes a mistake. While medical negligence only occurs in a small percentage of surgeries, the results of such errors are anything but small. For instance, something as life-altering as paralysis can be the outcome of a critical mistake made by a doctor during surgery.
Surgical Errors That Lead to Paralysis
While some surgical errors can be corrected with another surgery, when a patient is paralyzed by a surgeon’s mistake, there is often nothing that can be done to fix it. Here are some ways in which a patient’s care team could have caused paralysis during surgery:
- Incision errors. In brain or spinal cord surgery, it is critical that a surgeon is precise. When a surgeon is careless or unskilled and makes an accidental incision or an inaccurate cut, it can possibly lead to nerve and tissue damage that can cause paralysis.
- Incompetence. Sometimes surgeons run into complications they don’t anticipate and make preventable mistakes during surgeries because they don’t have experience in a certain area of surgery. Unfortunately, a doctor’s incompetence can lead to a critical mistake made during surgery that can leave a patient paralyzed.
- Monitoring errors. Generally a nurse or anesthesiologist has the responsibility of monitoring a patient’s vital signs during surgery. If that person isn’t paying close attention, he may not be aware that the patient isn’t getting enough oxygen to the brain. This is known as hypoxia, which can result in paralysis.
- Medication errors. Anesthesiologists are responsible for giving patients appropriate levels of anesthesia throughout surgery. If an anesthesiologist makes a mistake in the administration of a particular drug, or if a patient has a bad reaction to the anesthesia, the patient can suffer brain damage and paralysis.
- Post-operative errors. Following surgery, infections can occur which can be life-threatening. This is why patients are supposed to be transferred to recovery and monitored closely, especially after brain or spinal cord surgery. If an infection isn’t recognized and treated immediately, it can develop into a serious infection such as bacterial meningitis which can lead to paralysis and even death.
The bottom line is that if paralysis is the outcome of surgery, it may have occurred because a medical professional did something he or she shouldn’t have or didn’t do something they should have, which is cause for a medical negligence investigation.
Following a life-changing injury such as paralysis, you will need money for ongoing medical care, physical therapy, medical equipment, home modifications, and personal assistance. You also deserve compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and for living with a disability. By holding the negligent party accountable for the injury you suffered, a medical malpractice lawsuit can compensate you for your losses and give you a chance at a better future.
We know that no amount of money will ever be enough for the loss you endured, but we can help you get the most compensation possible so you can move forward with your life and get the best care possible. Our law firm welcomes your phone call and will answer your questions in a free, no-obligation consultation.