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Was your nerve injury due to negligence?

| Feb 24, 2017 | Surgical Errors

When you go in for surgery in Kew Gardens, you likely assume that the only risks that you face are those that are outlined by your surgeon before your procedure. Yet what if nerve damage was not listed amongst those risks, yet you still ended up experiencing it after your surgery? Could that mean that the damage was caused by your surgeon?

If you experience symptoms such as pain, burning, sensitivity or numbness in the area around your surgical site, that could be a sign that nerve damage has occurred. Nerve injuries caused by surgical trauma or mechanical stress are said to be iatrogenic, and they may be more common than you think. Study results shared by the U.S. National Library of Medicine show that over 17 percent of all traumatic nerve injuries may be iatrogenic. The same study states that during surgery, nerves can inadvertently be damaged in the following ways:

  •          Being cut, crushed, tied off, penetrated or twisted around screws.  
  •          Being stress by the removal of osteosynthetic devices.
  •          Being stretched by retractors.
  •          Being damaged by hardening bone cement.
  •          Being damaged by blood clotting.

If you underwent an extensive invasive procedure, then an iatrogenic injury may be one cause to consider when trying to determine what caused your nerve damage. How are you to know, however, if such damage did occur?

Having your surgical records assessed by a third party clinician may produce the answer. Even if your surgeon failed to document any nerve damage, another doctor may be able to determine the likelihood of it occurring based off of the clinical notes. While the suggestion to seek an outside opinion should not be taken as actual legal counsel, it may provide you with the evidence needed to assign liability to your surgeon. 

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