The best practices for medical professionals, especially paramedics and other emergency responders, include clear instructions to assess people for spinal cord injuries. Any time someone hits their head or experiences a major fall, there will be an assumption that they require special medical care.
Emergency medical technicians and those working at trauma care facilities need to evaluate the situation carefully to determine whether a patient may have suffered injury to the spine or spinal cord during an incident. Whenever there is a potential for a neck or back injury, stabilization measures are necessary. Professionals should limit someone’s potential for motion to ensure they don’t unintentionally worsen an existing injury.
After taking a patient with a possible spinal injury to a medical facility, professionals will need to very carefully examine them to check for injuries that could worsen and have lifelong implications for the patient. When medical professionals deviate from those standards, the patient will often pay the price.
Spinal cord injuries can worsen
It is possible for someone to have an incomplete spinal cord injury that does not immediately prevent them from feeling sensation below the injury site and controlling their motor function. However, it may only take a few wrong moves for someone’s spinal cord injury to worsen and potentially cause permanent, severe symptoms. The risk of an injury worsening is exactly why careful stabilization and diagnostic practices are so important for patient well-being.
There have been cases where patients have sought out medical evaluation, only to have a doctor miss the warning signs of a spinal injury. The patient might then move on with their life, only to have the injury suddenly worse than, leaving them with catastrophic consequences. Such patients often have grounds for sizable medical malpractice lawsuits against the professionals or facilities that failed them.
A spinal cord injury will result in massive lifetime medical expenses and can often also affect someone’s earning potential. When someone thought medical evaluation only to have doctors fail to diagnose them or when emergency responders mismanaged the trauma care for someone with a potential spinal injury, the situation may constitute medical malpractice.
Initiating a medical malpractice lawsuit can compensate someone with a worsened spinal cord injury for the financial consequences of their condition caused by negligent care.