Paralysis can be a symptom of several diseases and can result from a variety of injuries and surgical errors. Since paralysis often affects one’s quality of life, it is crucial to contact an attorney if you believe your paralysis was the result of medical malpractice. Firm founder Jason Matzus is a Pittsburgh paralysis lawyer who has experience representing clients who became paralyzed because of medical errors.
Medical malpractice can lead to paralysis in a variety of ways. One way is through misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose certain conditions. For example, if a physician misdiagnoses meningitis as cluster migraines, the patient could become paralyzed. Misdiagnoses of various muscle diseases can also lead to paralysis. Surgical error is another common reason paralysis might lead to medical malpractice. Sometimes, surgical equipment malfunctions, leading to surgical mistakes. Surgical equipment that is not sterilized properly can cause hospital-acquired infections, some of which result in paralysis if not diagnosed and treated early enough. Finally, inappropriate anesthesia usage – giving the patient too much or too little, or administering it improperly – can lead to paralysis. There are a wide range of surgical errors possible and our Pittsburgh surgical error lawyer can help you through this confusing situation. Sometimes, medically-induced paralysis occurs because the physician advised a surgery that ultimately did the patient harm. For example, a patient might come to a physician because of chronic back pain, and the physician might advise spinal surgery. However, the spinal cord could become injured during surgery or the patient could sustain other side effects that cause paralysis. Some patients also experience deep vein thrombosis (or DVT) after surgery, which causes paralysis if not treated properly. Note that not all paralysis cases are related to surgery or hospital-acquired injuries. Other paralysis cases involve brain injuries, cerebral palsy, neonatal infections, Erb’s palsy, and birth trauma. Some birth injury paralysis cases can involve the misuse of obstetric instruments or negligent manipulation of the fetus.
Paralysis is not always fatal, but some diseases with paralysis as a symptom are, especially if the paralysis affects the heart, lungs, and other internal organs. Paralysis also affects a patient’s quality of life in many ways. Although the Americans with Disabilities Act has improved accessibility, many public places are still difficult to navigate for people with full or partial paralysis. Not every building has wheelchair-accessible entrances, exits, and bathrooms. Buildings that do have these features often have only one accessible door, bathroom stall, or elevator. Additionally, paralysis can affect patients at home. For example, a person with cerebral palsy may be paralyzed from the waist up, which affects his or her mouth and tongue muscles. This person may have difficulty eating and swallowing, which can result in medical issues like unintentional weight loss and susceptibility to infections. This person might also have difficulty communicating needs and wants, which is frustrating, depressing, and potentially dangerous in an emergency. Note that one’s legs or arms do not need to be paralyzed for paralysis to influence quality of life. For example, if your vocal chords become paralyzed due to a surgical error, you have a malpractice case. If you can still use your limbs but have a paralyzed hand or foot due to medical negligence, you may have a case, as well.
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