All medical professionals, including nurses and doctors (and especially surgeons and anesthesiologists who frequently work on patients with life-threatening conditions), have a duty of care not to harm their patients. When a medical professional doesn’t meet the proper standard of care for their patient’s condition, and this results in injury, this could be a case of medical malpractice. One of the more common causes of medical malpractice claims is surgical errors.
Surgical errors can occur in many ways. It could be an obvious mistake that is made during a surgical procedure, or it could be when healthy tissue gets injured during the surgery. It may be because the surgeon uses the wrong instrument, errors occur during anesthesia, or the patient doesn’t receive the proper monitoring during the operation.
Secondary medical conditions resulting from botched surgeries are also considered surgical errors. One of the more common secondary conditions is nerve damage, which can result from anesthesia errors, medication errors, or physical errors during the surgical procedure. If you or a loved one has suffered nerve damage because of a surgical error, you should consult with an attorney who handles medical malpractice claims in Los Angeles.
Physical Surgical Errors
During surgery, the surgeon must often work close to the nerves, and just a minor slip can cause significant nerve damage. The accidental severing of a nerve impairs the motor function or sensation in the area that is affected. Aggravating or rubbing a nerve can lead to inflammation. While the surgeon may move quickly to try to correct the mistake, nerve damage is often permanent. Nerve damage can cause pain in areas that are connected to it and can lead to chronic pain as well.
Anesthesia and Medication Errors
Nerve damage that is caused by medication and/or anesthesia errors can have varying effects ranging from very minor irritation to global impairment of the function of the nervous system and brain. Three kinds of anesthesia are used – general, local, and regional. Local anesthetic only works for a small area, and this is administered using a syringe. The person administering the anesthesia must use care to not hit any nerves in the area, which could cause damage.
Regional anesthesia requires a spinal injection and affects a larger part of the body. The spinal cord is a thick cluster of nerves extending from the brain down through the spinal column, branching out through the body. If damage occurs to the spinal cord when regional anesthesia is administered, permanent damage can result because the spinal cord isn’t capable of self-repair.
To make you totally unconscious, general anesthesia is used. This is used for major surgeries and can also cause nerve damage when performed incorrectly. When the body senses the discomfort of a nerve being pinched, the individual will move his or her body to adjust and prevent it, but while under general anesthesia, the patient doesn’t have the ability to move or speak.
Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Claim for Nerve Damage From a Surgical Error
If you were hurt by a medical professional during an operation, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim to hold him or her responsible for the damages that you suffered. Nerve damage can be permanent, causing long-term pain and discomfort. You may require ongoing medical care, including additional surgeries to repair the damaged nerves, but sometimes permanent disabilities, including brain damage or loss of motor function, can result.
To learn more about a medical malpractice claim in Los Angeles, contact the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq, to schedule a free case evaluation.