Transmitting senses to the brain, controlling body movements, and managing reflexes are spinal cord functions. So, any spinal cord injury has the potential to be catastrophic. It is even more tragic if it occurs due to a negligent medical professional. Not only are spinal cord injuries painful, but they can also result in serious medical conditions requiring lifelong treatment. If a physician or other medical professional injures a patient through negligence, the victim may receive financial compensation for their injuries. So, if you have been injured, due to negligence by a medical professional, protect your rights and hire a spinal cord injury lawyer today.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
The spinal cord is a long, tube-like column made up of 31 pairs of nerve roots and tissues that transmit messages from the brain to various parts of the body. It facilitates communication between the brain and the body.
The brain and the spinal cord form the central nervous system (CNS).
In most adults, the spinal cord is about 18 inches long. The spinal cord extends from the skull’s base down the middle of the back and is protected by three flimsy layers of tissues known as the membranes. The spinal cord and membrane are protected by backbones (vertebrae).
If the spinal cord is critically injured, it can cause damage to the nervous system and vertebrae, resulting in a loss of motor function and sensation. A spinal cord injury can cause paralysis in all or part of the body. It can also affect several bodily functions, including body temperature regulation, respiratory function, sexual function, and bladder control.
What Medical Missteps Cause Spinal Cord Injuries?
Most spinal cord injuries are caused by accidents. In some cases, however, negligence, medical malpractice, or errors are to blame. Spinal cord injuries usually happen because of medical malpractice in the following ways:
Errors in anesthesia administration may cause epidural hematomas (bleeding inside the skull or spinal column). Despite being rare, the injury can occur following traumatizing needle insertion, resulting in spinal cord bleeding.
Surgery comes with risks, and procedures on the spine require special care. Errors can occur if the following happens:
-Patient is not properly monitored
-The doctor is not trained properly
-Patient is not positioned optimally
Emergency Room (ER) Mistakes
It is common for emergency rooms to be hectic and chaotic. However, treating patients with care is essential. Mistakes are more likely to occur when medical professionals are distracted or not paying attention. For example, if a medical professional fails to spend enough time with a patient with a broken back or spinal fracture, the patient might not receive the correct diagnosis and may not receive appropriate care. It is also common for the ER staff to fail to immobilize the patient’s head and neck or move the patient improperly.
Spinal manipulation is typically part of chiropractic treatment. A chiropractor who fails to perform treatment correctly can cause spinal cord trauma.
Misdiagnosis of Spinal Cord Impingement or Abscess
Patients who complain of neurological deficits or back pain should undergo a diagnostic test. The purpose is to rule out spinal abscess, ruptured disk, or spinal stenosis. Failing to order the correct tests or misinterpreting test results could constitute medical malpractice.