It is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month and an important time to learn about spinal cord injuries and the potential impact that they may have on a victim’s life. Spinal cord injuries can happen for many reasons, including medical malpractice . When a health care provider acts in a careless manner and fails to uphold the standards of the medical community, he or she may be held liable for damages.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, contact a licensed West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney at Gordon & Partners for a free legal consultation. Our lawyers are knowledgeable about all aspects of spinal cord injuries and medical malpractice and we can put that knowledge to use in pursuing compensation for your injuries.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury is damage to any part of the spinal cord or the nerve endings. These injuries often result in paralysis and permanent changes and loss of sensation to areas below the injury site.
Spinal cord injuries have two levels of severity:
- Complete spinal cord injuries – You lose all feeling and control of movement below the location of the injury.
- Incomplete spinal cord injuries – You are left with some motor and sensory function below the location of the injury. Incomplete spinal cord injuries can vary in severity.
How Does Medical Malpractice Lead to a Spinal Cord Injury?
Negligent care or a misdiagnosis by a medical professional can lead to a spinal cord injury. Common medical errors that can lead to these types of injuries include:
- Anesthesia errors – A health care provider may improperly administer anesthesia during a procedure. Sometimes this can increase the risk of epidural hematoma and result in spinal cord injuries.
- Emergency room errors – After a traumatic event like a car accident, a health care provider may fail to recognize a spine fracture or dislocation or fail to properly immobilize a patient’s head, neck or spine during ER care. Either case can lead to serious or permanent spinal cord injury.
- Surgical errors – In some situations, health care providers may be operating on the spine. Failing to keep a patient positioned properly, failing to monitor the function of the spinal cord function or being distracted can result in spinal cord injuries.
Spinal Cord Injury Complications
Spinal cord injuries often result in significant and devastating effects on one’s life. Understanding the potential complications that can arise from a spinal cord injury can help reduce your risk of complications.
Some potential complications can include:
- Bladder control – A spinal cord injury can affect the body’s ability to control the bladder. This can ultimately lead to urinary tract infections, kidney infections or kidney stones.
- Bowel control – You may also experience an altered ability to control your bowel. To improve bowel function, a high fiber diet may help regulate the bowels.
- Circulatory control – A spinal cord injury can also cause circulatory problems, such as low blood pressure and swelling in the upper arms. This may increase your chances of having blood clots or pulmonary embolus.
- Respiratory problems – You may experience difficulty breathing and coughing, increasing your risk of developing pneumonia or other lung conditions. Medicine and therapy may be able to prevent these problems from arising.
- Loss of sensation – It is common to lose part or all skin sensations after an injury. Your skin may lose the ability to send a message to the brain when it is affected by pressure, cold or heat. This can make you more vulnerable to pressure sores. Frequent rotations may be necessary to decrease the possibility of these sores.
Speak with a Qualified Attorney Today
If you sustained a spinal cord injury at the hands of a negligent health care provider, it is important that you quickly seek the help of a qualified attorney. At Gordon & Partners, we can determine if you have a valid medical malpractice claim and the type of compensation you may be entitled. Our medical malpractice lawyers in West Palm Beach have helped injured victims obtained compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with us to learn about your legal options. We work on a contingency fee basis. There are no upfront costs for our services unless we help you recover adequate compensation.