Denver Spinal Epidural Abscess Attorneys
Spinal epidural abscesses are dangerous. This spinal infection can lead to pain, physical weakness, paralysis, and even death. That worst part? A spinal epidural abscess is most often caused a negligent surgeon, who failed to properly sanitize before surgery.
If you have developed a spinal epidural abscess, chances are high that it is due to a negligent medical professional. You are likely in a lot of pain, scared about your future. We at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. understand. We have worked on countless medical malpractice cases and have seen the damage that negligent doctors and nurses can cause. For a helping hand, call our firm at (303) 759-9945 as soon as possible.
A spinal epidural abscess (SEA) is an infection developing in the spine. This infection rarely develops on its own, as introducing bacteria to the spine without some sort of cut or incision is no easy task. This infection usually involves the development of a pocket of pus near, or on, the epidural space, which is a space between the two outermost layers of the meningeal layer, a membrane that covers both the brain and the spinal cord.
Early warning signs that this dangerous infection has developed include:
- Tenderness in the spine
- Pain in the area of infection
- Shooting pain that impacts the surrounding area
- Weakness in the limbs
If you notice these symptoms following a deep cut, incision, or surgery on your back, you should immediately seek out medical assistance. It is very possible that you have developed SEA, which could put your life at extreme risk.
When it comes to SEA, early diagnosis is crucial. A spinal epidural abscess is, first and foremost, an infection. While our immune system is capable of fighting small infections, one as serious as a SEA can be deadly. This is because it can cause you to develop sepsis. This happens when the chemicals in your body designed to fight against infections accidentally trigger an inflammatory response from the rest of your body. This can cause swelling, which in turn can impact blood flow to key areas of the body, such as the brain, heart, and kidneys.
If left unchecked, sepsis can cause your organs to begin to shut down. When sepsis becomes severe enough, it can also lead to septic shock, which is when sepsis causes your blood pressure to drop dangerously low. Extremely low blood pressure from septic shock can lead to death if emergency medical assistance is not given quickly enough.
However, the infection itself is not the only danger. When SEA develops, it forms a sack of pus inside the spinal cord, alongside the important nerves that run down the spine. These nerves are how the brain communicates with the rest of the body. When they are squeezed too tightly, it can interrupt the brain’s signals, leaving you unable to control certain parts of your body. If the infection is left for too long without treatment, then the nerves can become permanently damaged, resulting in paralysis that can become a lifelong disability.
In order for SEA to develop, there must be an introduction of bacteria into the spine. The spine is protected by layers of skin and muscles, which means it is difficult for bacteria to end up in the spine to begin with, and SEA a fairly rare disorder to develop. Most often, SEA only develops following a deep cut into the back and spine. There are a number of ways that someone could suffer such an injury: in a car accident, a slip-and-fall, or even a dog attack.
However, SEA is most commonly caused by negligent surgeons. When performing a surgery, surgeons and operating room nurses must make sure that the room, their tools, and their hands are completely sanitized. Failing to provide properly sanitized conditions for patients is negligence. That is because one of the greatest risks of surgery, beyond the patient bleeding out, is the introduction of bacteria into the body.
The human body has a robust immune system, capable of fighting off various pathogens. However, it can’t fight off everything when the stress of healing from surgery is added on. The introduction of bacteria deep into the body is a death sentence for some patients, and those who survive may find themselves suffering lifelong disabilities. Due to that risk, surgeons and other staff should always make sure they:
- Wash their hands
- Sanitize the incision site
- Clean their tools
- Wipe down the operation room
- Wear gloves and a mask at all times during surgery
If you developed SEA after a surgery, then it is likely that your surgeon, the other attending staff, and even the hospital are at fault for your infection. Treating the disorder is costly, and living with it is painful, both physically and emotionally. You are well within your rights to demand proper compensation from the parties responsible for your condition.
If your SEA developed as a result of surgery, whether that means the surgeon’s hands weren’t washed, the room wasn’t clean, or the insertion site wasn’t sanitized, then it is a case of medical malpractice. We at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. have spent years working with medical malpractice victims and know exactly what goes into a successful claim. To receive compensation, you must prove:
There was a duty of care: It was the surgeon’s duty to keep you as safe as reasonably possible. Every medical professional owes their patients a duty of care, which means all you have to do is provide documentation that you were an official patient of the surgeon or hospital responsible for your SEA.
That duty of care was breached: This can be a little harder to prove, because a duty of care doesn’t require that a surgeon inflict no harm whatsoever (making the initial surgical cut, for example). It means that you should be kept reasonably safe according to the standards of the profession. Expert witnesses, medical professionals, who have undertaken to perform similar surgeries, can testify whether the at-fault surgeon acted according to the standard or not.
There was an injury: A key facet of a medical malpractice is that there was some sort of injury. If you have developed SEA, then that counts as an injury.
That injury resulted from the breached duty of care: Finally, you must be able to show that your injury, which is SEA in this case, was caused by the breach of duty of care. Oftentimes this is done with medical records, and further testimony from expert witnesses.
Of course, gathering the right evidence and expert witnesses is not easy. You need to know who to talk to and what to look for. If you are in the process of recovering from your spinal epidural abscess, then the last thing you want to spend your energy on is a medical malpractice claim. That is why you should work with an experienced attorney who can help you win your case.
A spinal epidural abscess is not an easy infection to recover from. The pain is intense, and the consequences of not being diagnosed early are severe. Not only will this injury lead to heavy financial burdens, and it will result in physical and emotional suffering. A malpractice claim is your best bet to financial recovery, which will, in turn, give you the chance to focus on healing. But a successful claim requires the help of a great medical malpractice attorney, which is where we at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. come in. With years of experience, we can give you the support you truly need. To talk with a member of our team, call (303) 759-9945 today.