Man Sues Orthopedist After Epidural Injected Into Patient’s Spinal Cord
This medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed in Georgia. According to the plaintiff, he was in a car accident and began to receive treatment for neck and spinal pain. An MRI indicated that he had spinal stenosis, characterized by the narrowing of vertebral openings where the nerve comes through. That led to an impingement that caused him considerable pain for which he sought care. As a result, his doctor ordered an epidural steroid injection to be administered directly into the epidural area of the spine. During this process, the patient saw three different doctors.
Images from the procedure indicated that the epidural was not placed in the epidural space. Instead, the epidural was delivered into the spinal canal. In such a case, it would be common for a doctor to inject some contrast dye to ensure the proper placement of the needle.
The patient awoke in severe pain, had difficulty breathing, and a lack of sensation in his legs. An ambulance was called and he was immediately transferred to the emergency room. The orthopedic clinic recorded his pain level at zero when he left for the hospital. Images at the hospital indicated that the attending doctor had injected the steroid directly into the patient’s spinal cord leading to severe and permanent neurological damage.
Analyzing the orthopedists’ conduct
The plaintiff alleges that the orthopedists advised their patient to undergo an invasive and dangerous procedure without advising him of the risks for a condition that did not require that aggressive of a remedy. Why did they do that? Well, the attorney for the plaintiff stopped short of accusing them of running up the patient’s insurance tab by indicating that unnecessary procedures were ordered for this patient, but that is the allegation between the lines. The orthopedic clinic is further accused of falsifying information on the patient’s discharge papers and failing to report what happened to the hospital where the patient was sent.
Further, the procedures that the plaintiff was recommended tend to be quick, high-profit procedures for clinics. Hence, the clinic is accused of injuring a patient through gross negligence, lying about the patient’s condition on discharge, and trying to torture the patient’s insurance policy for as much money as they possibly could. Any of these claims could form the foundation of a medical malpractice lawsuit, but to have all three claims in one medical malpractice lawsuit is fairly special. Nonetheless, low competence albeit highly-profitable medical clinics like this exist all across the U.S. and patients find themselves without the necessary knowledge to determine if procedures are necessary, dangerous, or if the risks outweigh the reward.
Talk to a Charlottesville, VA Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to substandard medical care, the Charlottesville medical malpractice lawyers at MichieHamlett can help litigate your case and recover damages to help offset the costs of lost wages, past and future medical expenses, and reduced quality of life. Call today to learn more.