Failure to Diagnose Spinal Epidural Abscess

Spinal Epidural Abscess Malpractice in Massachusetts

Failure to Diagnose Spinal Epidural Abscess Spinal Epidural Abscess (“SEA”) is a disorder triggered by an infection inside of a person’s spine. While the infection can be caused by either bacteria or fungal organism, it often occurs after a surgical procedure. It is critical that SEA is promptly diagnosed because any delays could result in the infection spreading throughout a person’s body. If you or a loved one have suffered due to a misdiagnosis involving a spinal epidural abscess, you likely have found yourself facing life-altering changes, mounting medical bills and lost wages, which is why it is important to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

How Spinal Epidural Abscesses Occur

An epidural abscess is a gathering of pus that arises between the dura mater and skull or vertebral column. An SEA, however, occurs in a person’s spinal column, more specifically in the epidural space that is located in a critical spot on the human body between the vertebrae and spinal cord. SEAs can be caused by distant infections as well as infections that occur close to the epidural space. Fortunately, if caught early enough, SEAs are often manageable. A delayed epidural abscess diagnosis, however, can lead to very serious conditions like paraplegia, quadriplegia, or even death. The progression of SEA often involves back pain with tenderness and tenderness, radicular pain shooting into the hips and thighs caused by nerve root irritation, spinal cord dysfunction that affects a person’s motor and sensory abilities, and paralysis.

Misdiagnosis of Spinal Epidural Abscess

SEA is often first noticed as a neck pain that radiates to a person’s abdomen. In many cases, SEA often appears with a fever. In many cases, neurological signs depend on the level of spinal cord involvement. Physicians are trained to rule out an SEA when a person presents with these symptoms given the seriousness of the conditions. Physicians are also taught that early diagnosis is critical with SEAs and that delays in diagnosis of only a few hours can increase the degree or severity of a person’s condition. A physician with any concerns that a patient might have SEA, should always air on the side of caution and conduct the necessary tests. These tests measure for a community of acquired staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, skin lesions suggesting acute systemic infection, the presence of fever at 72 hours, and a positive blood culture at 48 hours. MRIs can also help physicians determine if a patient has SEA.

Obtain the Services of a Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or a loved one has experienced a misdiagnosed spinal epidural abscess or delayed/improper treatment of an epidural abscess, do not hesitate to call an experienced medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan

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