How Could Medical Malpractice Cause a Spinal Cord Injury?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Medical Malpractice Published on April 24, 2024 and updated on April 30, 2024.

spinal cord x-rayMany severe spinal cord injuries are caused by blunt force trauma, such as from a car crash or fall, but some may occur during medical treatment. For instance, doctors could misdiagnose an injury or make a surgical error. Sometimes these issues may rise to the level of medical malpractice.

Below, our experienced attorneys discuss examples of medical malpractice that might result in a severe spinal cord injury. We also explain when you might be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit after suffering a spinal cord injury.

If you have questions about your legal options after a medical malpractice injury, call our medical malpractice lawyers in Maryland. Your initial legal consultation is free, and we do not get paid unless our clients receive compensation.

Millions recovered for our clients. Zero upfront costs. Call us at: 410-297-0271.

Forms of Medical Malpractice That Could Cause Spinal Cord Damage

Many people go to hospitals for treatment of spinal cord injuries, but some patients suffer damage to their spinal cord during their treatment. Below are some examples of medical malpractice that could result in painful or life-changing spinal cord injuries.

If you have reason to believe your spinal cord injury was caused by medical malpractice, call our law firm to review possible legal options. Our lawyers may be able to secure compensation on your behalf.

Misdiagnosis of a Spinal Cord Injury

Misdiagnosis could delay treatment for herniated discs, spinal stenosis, spinal abscess, meningitis or compression fractures. Delayed treatment of spinal cord injuries could cause irreversible nerve damage and loss of motor function below the site of the injury.

Another problem with misdiagnosis is doctors could start treatment for the wrong illness. Receiving the wrong treatment could make your true injury worse and put you at risk for secondary complications like infections or excessive bleeding.

Doctors may have been able to prevent this devastating outcome by performing surgery or prescribing physical therapy earlier in the treatment process.

Misdiagnosis is often caused by failing to spot an injury through diagnostic tests or mistaking one illness for another.

Surgical Errors

Surgery is often a necessary but dangerous medical intervention. You have probably heard the expression that there is no such thing as routine surgery. This statement is particularly true with surgery on or around the spinal cord, as one mistake could cause a life-altering injury.

These are some examples of surgical errors that could damage the spinal cord:

  • Operating on the wrong section of the spine
  • Severing nerves
  • Incorrectly placing screws, plates or other hardware
  • Failing to identify and promptly respond to complications, like excessive bleeding
  • Leaving surgical instruments inside the body
  • Improper technique leading to spinal fluid leakage or dural tears
  • Damaging the spinal cord during a lumbar puncture/spinal tap, such as by improper positioning of the patient

Failure To Monitor

Doctors must closely monitor patients with spinal cord injuries to spot signs of complications, such as respiratory issues, blood clots, deteriorating neurological function or increased spinal compression. If doctors identify these issues quickly, they can respond and possibly prevent serious injuries.

Doctors not only need to monitor patients after surgery, but throughout their treatment.

Anesthesia Malpractice

Doctors must be cautious when administering epidural anesthesia, as they are injecting drugs into the space around the spinal cord. This procedure is often done during childbirth or when doctors are operating on patients’ lower bodies (legs, abdomen, rectum, pelvis, etc.). Anesthesia errors during an epidural could cause catastrophic damage to the spinal cord.

Additionally, improper dosing can cause hypotension (low blood pressure), which may result in inadequate blood flow to the spinal cord.

Emergency Room Malpractice

Emergency rooms can get hectic, causing doctors to rush through evaluations and make poor decisions. For example, doctors could misdiagnose a spinal cord injury or discharge someone too quickly. Sometimes treatment is delayed longer than it should have been. For example, doctors may have needed to immobilize a patient with a possible spinal fracture.

How Do I Know if My Situation Rises to the Level of Medical Malpractice?

The question is whether your doctors breached an accepted standard of care, and if so, did that breach directly cause your injuries. There is no case unless you can establish these two things.

The standard of care is a relatively straightforward concept, but you need detailed evidence to prove the breach. This is where a medical expert comes in.

There is no way for victims to know for sure if they have a case. However, if you think your injury could have been avoided by doctors exercising greater care or responding more quickly, you should contact an experienced lawyer. This is especially true if you think doctors committed one of the examples of medical malpractice discussed in the section above.

Contact Us Today To Discuss Your Medical Malpractice Claim

We know medical malpractice victims have a lot of questions about what to do next. Calling an experienced lawyer with a history of results can be an important step.

At The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl, we have the legal knowledge and experience to guide you through each step of your legal journey, with no upfront costs. We understand the devastating impact a spinal cord injury can have on your physical and emotional health.

Our law firm is committed to securing full compensation for your past and future medical costs and other damages.

Call today: 410-297-0271. We may be able to help you during this difficult time.