Every surgery comes with risks. It is the responsibility of the surgeon and surgical team to minimize these risks and have a plan in place to prepare for any possibility. Unfortunately, not all surgeons and medical providers fulfill their obligations to patients. Preventable surgical errors and anesthesia mistakes can result in injuries such as nerve damage. In this scenario, the victim can file a medical malpractice lawsuit in West Virginia to pursue financial damages.
What Is Nerve Damage?
The body consists of bundles of nerves that are composed of neurons. Neurons use electrical and chemical signals to transmit information from your brain to your body. If a nerve suffers trauma or compression, it can cause irreversible damage. Nerve damage can result in a loss of sensation in the affected body part. It can also cause tingling, numbness and chronic pain. In addition, a nerve injury can impact the brain’s ability to communicate with muscles and organs. Nerve damage is often permanent, although treatments such as physical therapy may help to relieve symptoms.
Common Medical Errors That Result in Nerve Damage
The nerves can be damaged by compression, pressure, stretching or cutting. During an invasive procedure, the nerves are exposed and vulnerable to damage and injury. It is the surgeon’s responsibility to take due care to avoid nicking, slicing or damaging the nerves. A mistake when in close proximity to the nerves by the surgeon or assisting staff member can cause permanent nerve damage. Even a more minor form of damage, such as a surgical instrument rubbing up against a nerve, can cause inflammation and nerve pain.
If a surgeon does everything right during an operation, a patient can still suffer nerve damage due to errors in the administration of anesthesia. Anesthesia numbs a patient or puts him or her to sleep during an operation. A medical professional known as the anesthesiologist is responsible for mixing the correct concoction of drugs and administering it correctly, as well as monitoring the patient for signs that the anesthesia is not working correctly during the procedure.
Local anesthesia is administered using a syringe. During this process, it is critical for the anesthesiologist to avoid direct contact between the needle and one of the patient’s nerves. Regional anesthesia involves a shot to the spinal column, where there is a collection of nerves that transmits signals to and from the brain. A mistake by the anesthesiologist can lead to nerve damage to this cluster of nerves, which can result in permanent debilitation for the victim. Finally, making a mistake while administering general anesthesia could result in overall nerve damage, such as the inability to sense pain or discomfort.
When Is Nerve Damage Medical Malpractice?
If you are diagnosed with nerve damage after undergoing a surgical procedure in West Virginia, consult with a medical malpractice lawyer about the possibility of filing a lawsuit. You can file a civil claim for nerve damage against a surgeon, anesthesiologist, surgical center or another health care practitioner if someone’s negligence caused your injury. Negligence in a medical malpractice case refers to any act or omission that a reasonable and prudent medical practitioner would not have engaged in under similar circumstances.
Nerve damage is a common type of medical malpractice claim in West Virginia due to the high risk of this injury during many different medical procedures. If you or your lawyer can prove that another surgeon would have done something differently to prevent your nerve damage, you may qualify for financial compensation for your injuries. This may include damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and legal fees. For more information about this type of medical malpractice lawsuit, contact Manchin Injury Law Group to request a free case evaluation.