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3 ways medical professionals could cause a spinal cord injury

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Spinal cord injuries are among the most feared injuries people can develop. The average person cannot imagine living their life without full control of their body. A spinal cord injury disrupts the brain’s ability to communicate with the body below the injury site. A loss of sensation and issues with motor function are both common symptoms of spinal cord injuries.

The right medical care can prevent a spinal cord injury from worsening and can help someone adjust to life with the limitations caused by their injuries. Unfortunately, improper medical care could generate or worsen a spinal cord injury. The following are the most common ways that healthcare providers contribute to the causes or severity of spinal cord injuries.

Improper birth interventions

There are two different scenarios in which labor and delivery medical support might lead to a spinal cord injury. An anesthesiologist administering an epidural could potentially cause a spinal cord injury to the pregnant woman with a placement mistake or similar error. A doctor assisting the labor and delivery process with the use of forceps or vacuum extraction could cause a spinal cord injury to the unborn child. Both scenarios could cause major challenges for the family affected.

Failure to properly stabilize a patient

One of the first questions that paramedics ask when responding to an emergency call is whether someone may have suffered an injury that affected their head, back or spine. Patients can sometimes have incomplete spinal cord injuries that are one rough movement away from where worsening. If healthcare professionals do not properly stabilize someone before transporting them to the hospital, vehicle motions during transit could lead to injury worsening.

Rushing through the diagnostic process

People who have fallen or gotten into car crashes often go to emergency rooms or urgent care facilities for medical evaluation. The professionals there have access to equipment that can identify spinal cord injuries, including advanced imaging technology. Unfortunately, when demand is high or when a patient does not seem credible to medical professionals, they might turn someone away without properly evaluating them. Those patients could then experience some kind of secondary trauma that worsens a spinal cord injury that they may otherwise have been able to treat and control.

If there is a direct connection between the medical care that someone has received and the spinal cord injury that they have developed, they may have grounds to take action against the healthcare providers who failed to offer proper support or who used the wrong interventions. In this way, connecting a serious traumatic injury with medical mistakes or negligence could give someone grounds to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.