Paralysis Caused By Spinal Surgery

An ideal outcome in spinal surgery is dependent of the coordination of efforts by the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and neurophysiologist. Because patients are under general anesthesia during surgery, techniques for examining the nervous system for potential injuries can be somewhat limited. Intraoperative spinal cord monitoring (IOM) allows the surgeon to record the electrical signals transferred along the spinal cord and use this recording to prevent neural irritation or spinal cord injury during surgery.

Electrodes are placed on the patient’s body to monitor and record nerve signal responses throughout the spinal surgical procedure. The most common forms of spinal cord monitoring during surgery are EMG (electromyography), SEP (somatosensory evoked potentials) and MEP (motor evoked potentials). Ideally, this is done in an efficient manner without interrupting the flow of the operation and producing unnecessary interruptions.

The monitoring personnel must be able to detect and understand the source of any variables in spinal cord signals in order to deal with them appropriately. An intra-operative disruption or complete loss of spinal cord electrical signals in the appropriate monitoring channels (either SEP sensors, MEP sensors, or both) is clearly an indication of significant disturbance of spinal cord function. If this is not recognized and sensation is not restored during the spinal surgery, severe spinal cord and/or spinal nerve root injury, up to and including partial or total paralysis, may occur.

If you or a loved one has suffered permanent neurological injury and/or paralysis due to a complication during spinal surgery, contact The Yost Legal Group today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (800-403-7259). When you call, you will speak with an experienced Baltimore Medical Malpractice attorney absolutely FREE.

The attorneys at Yost Legal Group are experienced, caring professionals ready to investigate your claim with compassion and determination. Call us today to receive a free, confidential consultation about your possible case. At The Yost Legal Group, there is no fee or expense unless you recover.


Common Bile Duct Injuries Can Have Devastating Consequences

A healthy gallbladder stores bile, which is produced in the liver, and releases the bile into the small intestine to help in the digestion of food. Gallstones are small, hard, gravel-like deposits that can form inside the gallbladder. Gallstones cause pain, inflammation, infection, and blockages of the tubes, called bile ducts, which enter and exit the gallbladder. Gallstones are the most common cause of gallbladder surgery. The surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder is called cholecystectomy, and this surgery can be performed by entering the abdomen through a single, long, incision (known as open cholecystectomy) or through 3 or 4 small cuts (known as laparoscopic cholecystectomy).

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (known as “lap choly”) is the most common and effective way to remove the gallbladder. During laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the surgeon attaches a camera and light to a scope which is inserted through one of the small incisions. The camera projects the inside of the abdomen in real time, and the doctor uses the live-feed video to guide the surgical instruments through the other small incisions and perform the surgery.

The smaller incisions typically allow the ”lap choly” patient to recovery more quickly and less painfully from gallbladder surgery, but there can also be downsides. Since the surgeon is looking at the gallbladder through a video camera there is only a two-dimensional view of the surgery being performed, rather than the three-dimensional view that open surgery allows. This affects the surgeon’s depth perception, leaving room for medical error, such as a cut, clipped or pinched bile duct. When this unfortunate form of medical malpractice occurs, blockage can occur or bile can seep from the duct and cause an infection which may even enter into the bloodstream (sepsis).

An injury to the common bile duct during gallbladder removal surgery can be very serious and even deadly if not treated in time. Symptoms can include jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), intense abdominal or stomach pain, fever, chills, nausea, or swelling of the abdomen. Treatment of a common bile duct injury often requires surgical repair and can include additional gastrointestinal surgical procedures such as Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy. Even patients who have had surgery to repair their common bile duct injuries can have further issues such as obstruction of bile flow.

Over half a million people have gallbladder surgery every year, making it a very common practice in the United States. Unfortunately, due to medical negligence, approximately one in every one thousand laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgeries results in bile duct injuries.

If you would like to discuss your potential claim arising from a common bile duct injury, the attorneys at Yost Legal Group are experienced professionals ready to investigate your claim with compassion and determination. For a free consultation, please call us at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529).