Surgical Errors Can Cause Long-Term Complications in the Central Nervous System
You’ve probably heard it said that “there’s no such thing as minor surgery.” It’s true. Every invasive procedure invites the possibility of unintended harm, no matter how minor the invasion or how minimal the risk.
The surgeon’s job, of course, is to take every reasonable precaution before, during, and after surgery to keep patients safe and reduce the risk of harm.
Unfortunately, surgeons and anesthesiologists sometimes make mistakes. The consequences of surgical carelessness can include short-term, long-term, or permanent nerve damage.
Patients who experience nerve damage after surgery may be entitled to financial compensation under Maryland medical malpractice law.
How Surgery Can Cause Nerve Damage
The Central Nervous System (CMS) serves as the communication system between the body and the brain. Because nerves are located all throughout the body, surgery almost always presents a risk of damaging (either directly or indirectly) one or more nerves. Surgeons are aware of this risk and should take care to avoid it.
How can a surgeon cause nerve damage despite knowing the risks?
- Cutting in the wrong place — A severed nerve can be impossible to repair. That’s why surgeons must be extremely cautious before they make an incision, only cutting into the body when they are sure they will not lacerate a nerve.
- Pinching, compressing, or otherwise compromising the nerve — Surgeons should have a competent understanding of the positioning of nerve clusters throughout the body. Even absent a laceration, compressing or otherwise impacting a nerve during surgery can cause significant post-operative complications, which may or may not be treatable.
- Depriving the nerve of oxygen during surgery — Nerves can die when they don’t get enough oxygen. If a patient’s blood circulation is cut off or compromised during surgery (because of faulty medical equipment, improper procedures, improper positioning of the patient while under anesthesia, or failure to monitor and stabilize vital signs), it can cause permanent nerve damage.
- Anesthesia errors resulting in nerve damage after surgery — Anesthesia is typically accomplished by way of injection. Surgeons must be extremely careful to avoid hitting a nerve with the needle during injection. This risk is present when anesthesia is administered locally (at almost any point on the body) or regionally at the spinal cord (where the risk is especially great, given the cluster of nerves located in and around the spine).
Long-Term Effects of Nerve Damage After Surgery
Even minor instances of nerve damage after surgery can significantly impact one’s quality of life. Common complaints among injured patients include:
- Nerve pain
- Increased sensitivity to changes in temperature
- Tingling, “pins and needles” sensations, neuralgia
- Loss of feeling in parts of the body
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Muscle twitching
- Reduced range of motion
- Loss of bladder and/or bowel control (incontinence)
- Loss of balance
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle atrophy
- Emotional distress
- Paralysis (partial or total)
Talk to a Maryland Surgical Malpractice Lawyer at D’Amore Law Today
If you or your loved one has suffered nerve damage after surgery in Maryland or the District of Columbia, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation.
Surgery is extremely risky, so it is imperative that health care professionals exercise tremendous care when operating on a patient’s body. Too often, the damage can’t be undone.
Don’t settle for suffering from nerve damage without adequate compensation. Don’t let a hospital board or an insurance company tell you how much your suffering is worth. You may be entitled to more than you realize.
Before you accept a settlement offer, get in touch with the medical malpractice lawyers at D’Amore Law. We offer free consultations to injured patients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Our team is dedicated to helping injured patients pursue the full and fair compensation they deserve. These cases take time to research and prepare, and strict time limits apply to the filing of medical malpractice claims in Maryland. So please don’t delay. Call our office to discuss your options with our Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, D.C. surgical malpractice lawyers today. Call 1-800-JUSTICE or contact us online to get started with a free consultation.