Nerve damage is all too common during surgical procedures. There are two basic surgical mistakes that can cause nerve damage- a surgeon’s physical error, and an error during administration of anesthesia.
Often, surgeons must operate in close proximity to nerves. Contact between a surgeon’s instruments and nerves can cause damage. An accidental severing or slicing of a nerve could occur. A surgeon’s instrument may also rub against a nerve, causing inflammation.
There are three basic types of anesthesia: local, regional and general. A mistake involving administration of any one of the three types can lead to nerve damage.
Local anesthesia is administered with a syringe. The doctor must be careful to avoid direct contact between the syringe and a nerve. Any contact could cause damage.
Regional anesthesia generally involves injection of an anesthetic into the spinal column. The spinal column contains a dense concentration of nerves that transmit signals from the lower extremities to the brain. It is possible for a doctor to damage this cluster of nerves when injecting the regional anesthetic, resulting in debilitating nerve damage.
A mistake in administering general anesthesia can cause nerve damage as a result of the body’s loss of ability to sense discomfort. Generally, when an alert person’s body is in a position that could cause nerve damage if the position is sustained for a long period of time, the person senses discomfort and adjusts. For example, when a person’s leg falls asleep, the person can usually stand up and walk around. When under general anesthesia, the person obviously loses this ability. Thus, nerve damage can result from a doctor’s administering a general anesthesia when a patient is in a position that could result in the pinching of a nerve.
If you or a loved one has suffered from nerve damage, contact me today. I’m here to help.