Modern medicine has found several ways to make labor and delivery safer for both mother and child. Perhaps one of the most revolutionary changes available for mothers is epidural pain relief. Earlier pain management techniques rendered women unconscious during labor and led to a host of other interventions. Epidurals make pain manageable while leaving the mother cogent and communicative.
A specialist called an anesthesiologist, inserts a needle to feed a medication directly into the spinal cord. When successful, epidurals are an excellent way to minimize a woman’s pain while still keeping her conscious and alert for labor. Unfortunately, when things go wrong, epidurals can have a permanent impact on sensation and motor function.
Needle misplacement can cause permanent nerve damage
It is efficient and effective to inject pain relief medication directly into the part of the body that transmits signals about pain and other bodily experiences. However, it is not without risk. If an anesthesiologist makes some mistake in the placement of the needle or if they or the patient move abruptly, something could go very wrong.
The needle could cause trauma to the spinal cord or nearby nerves. In some cases, the damage may be severe enough to cause paralysis. Other times, epidural injuries will lead to a permanent reduction in sensation or minor issues with motor function typical of nerve damage and incomplete spinal cord injuries.
Anesthesiologists should employ the utmost caution when performing an epidural, as their mistakes could have catastrophic consequences for the mother undergoing the procedure. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit could help your family reduce the long-term losses you suffered because of harm, such as an injury caused by an epidural.