Nerve damage is an often incurable, progressive condition that can seriously alter your way of life. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may experience severe pain, tingling in your limbs, or complete paralysis in one or more parts of your body. There are roughly 100 million people in the United States suffering from peripheral nerve damage. Unfortunately, many of these people must also cope with the fact that their nerve damage was caused by a medical error, made by a medical professional they trusted.
Types of Nerve Damage
There are over 100 types of nerve damage, all of varying severity and causality. However, all nerve damage is centered around the three nervous systems in the body:
- Autonomic nerves control our involuntarily actions, such as our heart rate, blood flow, and temperature regulation
- Motor nerves control our movements by helping pass along signals to our brains through our spinal cords
- Sensory nerves control our ability to feel sensations such as pain, tingles, and heat
Because these different nervous systems control different things, the symptoms of nerve damage can vary depending on which system is damaged. For example, if you damage your autonomic nervous system, you could experience symptoms such as:
- Inability to sense irregularities or pain in your heart beat, which may lead to sudden heart attacks or angina
- Excessive or too little sweating
- Dry mouth or eyes
- Problems with your bladder
However, if you damage your motor nerves, you may experience completely different symptoms. Signs that your motor nervous system is damaged include:
- Muscle atrophy (deterioration of the muscle)
- Paralysis, either in one particular part of your body, multiple, or complete
Because there are so many different types of nerve damage, and because you can have multiple types of nerve damage or symptoms at once, diagnosing a specific type of nerve damage can be difficult. However, if you believe your nerve damage was caused by a medical mistake, there are ways to determine what type of damage you have and how it might have been caused.
Medical Mistakes that Cause Nerve Damage
The most common way that medical errors can result in nerve damage is through surgical errors. Specifically, surgical errors can cause nerve damage through a physical mistake that the surgeon makes themselves, or a mistake that occurs while administering local, regional, or general anesthesia.
Physical mistakes that surgeons make during a surgery that might cause nerve damage include:
- Slicing or severing a nerve
- Pushing on or compressing a nerve
- Straining or stretching a nerve
- Improperly using medical tools, such as scalpels, tourniquets, or bandages
- Placing the patient in a position that restricts blood flow or pinches a nerve
Anesthesia errors can also lead to nerve damage. These may include:
- Blocking blood flow by incorrectly administering local or general anesthesia
- If the needle being used to administer local anesthesia hits a nerve
- Improperly administering regional anesthetic that is injected into the spinal cord
How We Can Help
Nerve damage can result in lifelong pain or paralysis, permanently affecting a patient’s quality of life. If nerve damage occurs because of medical negligence, the person responsible needs to be held accountable. If you or a loved one has suffered from nerve damage that you believe was caused by surgical errors or another type of medical malpractice, contact us today. At The Brothers Law Firm, we understand your pain and frustration during this time of need. We have represented numerous clients who have suffered serious health problems due to damaged nerves. We can help you understand your legal rights and determine the best options possible to ensure you and your family get the help you deserve. To get started, fill out our online form to request a free consultation or call us at 281-491-3635.