Nerve damage can have profound implications on a patient’s life. It can lead to chronic pain, loss of mobility, and diminished quality of life. In severe cases, it may even result in permanent disability. When nerve damage is a result of a medical mistake, patients have the right to hold their healthcare provider responsible.
Types of Medical Mistakes That Can Result in Nerve Damage
Here are some examples of medical errors that commonly lead to nerve damage:
- Surgical Errors: Invasive procedures carry a risk of nerve damage, especially if the surgeon is not careful. Surgical errors can occur during surgeries involving delicate areas like the spine and extremities, or even routine procedures if proper precautions are not taken.
- Mismanaged Injections: Administering injections requires precision to avoid piercing or damaging nearby nerves. Improper technique or inadequate knowledge of anatomy can lead to inadvertent nerve injuries.
- Anesthesia Complications: Anesthesia is a critical aspect of surgery. However, improper administration or monitoring can lead to nerve damage. This can occur if nerves are compressed or if blood flow is restricted due to positioning during surgery.
- Failure to Diagnose and Treat Conditions: Delayed or misdiagnosed conditions, especially those affecting the nervous system, can lead to irreversible nerve damage. Conditions like spinal infections, tumors, or peripheral nerve disorders require timely intervention.
- Improper Use of Medical Devices: Medical devices such as surgical instruments, scopes, or even catheters, if not used correctly, can lead to unintended nerve injuries. This can happen due to mechanical trauma or inadequate training.
- Inadequate Postoperative Care: After a surgical procedure, proper postoperative care is crucial. Negligence in monitoring for signs of nerve damage or failing to address complications promptly can exacerbate the situation.
- Negligent Rehabilitation Practices: During rehabilitation, therapists must be vigilant to avoid putting undue stress on nerves. Inadequate supervision or improper techniques can lead to further damage.
- Medication Errors: Certain medications, if not administered correctly, can lead to nerve damage as a side effect. This can occur due to dosage errors, drug interactions, or allergic reactions.
- Inadequate Informed Consent: If a patient is not properly informed about the potential risks of a procedure, including the risk of nerve damage, they may not be able to make an informed decision about their treatment.
Holding a Medical Provider Responsible for Nerve Damage
To hold a healthcare provider responsible for nerve damage in a medical malpractice claim, you generally need to establish the following elements:
Duty of Care
You must demonstrate that the healthcare provider owed you a duty of care. This means that they had a professional obligation to provide you with a standard of care that a reasonably skilled and competent healthcare provider in the same field would have offered under similar circumstances.
Breach of Standard of Care
You must show that the healthcare provider breached the standard of care owed to you. This involves demonstrating that their actions or omissions deviated from what a reasonable and competent provider would have done in similar circumstances.
There must be proof of a direct causal link between the healthcare provider’s breach of the standard of care and the nerve damage you suffered. In other words, you must demonstrate that it was the provider’s actions or omissions that directly led to the nerve damage, and that you would not have suffered it otherwise.
You must have suffered actual damages as a result of the nerve damage. This can include medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other related losses.
Proving medical malpractice in nerve damage cases requires a comprehensive understanding of applicable laws and a meticulous approach. For help navigating the claims process and to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve, arrange a free consultation with a trusted Atlanta nerve damage attorney today.