There are risks associated with every surgery, but especially when the surgical site is close to the spine. The spinal cord consists of a complex network of nerves that, together with the brain, form the central nervous system. When surgery is performed on or near the spinal cord, reasonable measures must be taken by surgeons to ensure that the spinal cord is protected. Doctors need to be careful so as not to apply too much pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves, arteries, bones, and tissue surrounding the spinal cord. If too much pressure is applied, even if it is for a short amount of time, then permanent damage can result. Failure to protect the spinal column is medical malpractice and can result in permanent changes in strength, sensation, other body functions, profound nerve damage, severe pain, and numbness.
A lawsuit has recently been filed in Illinois against a surgeon who has allegedly damaged a patient’s spinal cord resulting in permanent and disfiguring injury. This surgeon has been accused of medical malpractice when operating on the patient. The doctor, William Sprich, performed a surgical procedure on the patient, Larua Mannix, called an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on April 24, 2011. Dr. Sprich allegedly damaged Mannix’s spinal cord, left nerve root, and left sympathetic nerve.
Fortunately, this patient was not paralyzed due to the spinal cord damage. However, the damage did result in Mannix developing Horner’s syndrome, a rare nerve disorder that has caused the patient’s eyelid to droop. This permanent injury has caused her to suffered disfigurement, disability, emotional distress and pain, lost wages, and has incurred medical costs. Mannix is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, and costs.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury while in surgery, the injury may be the result of medical malpractice. In order to determine if this is the case it is important that you contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. An experienced medical malpractice attorney may be able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
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