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Spinal Cord Emergencies & Medical Malpractice

A spinal cord injury can have dramatic, life-altering consequences for you and your loved ones. This is because the spine protects the spinal cord, which is made up of the nerves running along the back and neck that control the flow of information, including critical motor and sensory information, between the brain and the nerves of your body. Spinal cord injury can be damage suffered to the vertebrae, discs, tendons or nerves of the spinal cord. When the spinal cord is damaged, it can affect the ability of information to travel from your brain to your body. If the spinal cord is broken or a spinal cord emergency is left untreated or is improperly treated, the damage can be severe and irreversible. Resulting injuries can include paralysis, quadriplegia, breathing difficulty, nerve damage, loss of bowel and/or bladder control, and wrongful death.

Spinal cord injury most commonly arises from trauma such as falls, motor vehicle accidents, violence, or sports injuries that can result in spinal fractures or dislocations. However, spinal cord injury can also arise from non-trauma such as tumor, infection, stroke and other diseases that can have a devastating neurological impact. Because spinal cord emergencies are uncommon, it is critically important that physicians working in emergency departments be able to quickly recognize a spinal emergency so that a diagnosis can be made and treatment can be begun. Symptoms such as pain, radiation, paralysis, numbness, weakness, loss of bowel control, and loss of bladder control can be progressive and must be urgently evaluated. Because neurological injuries are usually severe and damage can quickly become permanent, timely treatment is critical to prevent permanent loss of function. Treating physicians need to take a detailed history, perform a thorough clinical evaluation, perform a thorough physical examination, and determine the appropriate laboratory and imaging studies to be performed, such as MRI, to help develop a diagnosis and guide treatment. Such treatment can include emergency surgery.

Negligent care in a medical and/or surgical setting can cause or contribute to spinal cord injuries. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Failure to evaluate a patient’s complaints and physical condition;
  • Failure to take a proper history;
  • Failure to recognize symptoms and complaints that present the potential for spinal cord injury;
  • Failure to perform a proper physical and neurological examination;
  • Failure to promptly initiate treatment;
  • Failure to perform necessary lab-work;
  • Failure to obtain appropriate MRI and/or radiological imaging;
  • Negligently performed surgery causing new or further injury to the spinal cord;
  • Anesthesia errors;
  • Medication errors; and/or
  • Failure to admit a patient for further evaluation of a potential spinal cord injury and/or premature discharge of a spinal cord injury patient without proper assessment and treatment.

At Freidin Brown, P.A., we have the experience and expertise to handle your spinal cord injury case. We understand that spinal cord injury can be catastrophic and cause severe pain, suffering, and loss of independence. People with these injuries often require extensive, ongoing, and overwhelmingly expensive medical care, and are unable to return to work or limited in their ability to work. At Freidin Brown, we use sophisticated litigation techniques and highly qualified experts to ensure you receive a favorable outcome and that those responsible for causing your injuries are held accountable for their actions. If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team for help. We are available 24/7 to take your call, and our contingency fee policy means you’ll pay nothing upfront for the legal services we provide.

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