Nerves Injuries After Surgeries: Minnesota Surgical Error Lawyer Explains

Victims Who Have Suffered a Nerve Injury After a Surgery May Be Entitled to Compensation


There are many risks that an inherent to surgery.  This is because a surgeon is cutting tissue and modifying a part of your body.  Risks such as scarring, damage to vessels, and even nerve damage are common complications.  You will have to even sign an informed consent form before a surgery which will explain these risks and highlight some of the largest risks, including nerve injuries.


However, some nerve injuries are not normal risks of surgery.  Some nerve injuries are actually due to mistakes or misconduct which result in serious and even permanent injuries to a surgical patient.  This is because nerve injuries do not always repair themselves when they are stretched or damaged, and nerve injuries rarely fully repair themselves if they were severed, cut, or greatly damaged.  While a stretch or some damage may be a risk of surgery, severed, cut, or greatly damaged nerves may not be what is covered in the informed consent and be due to Minnesota medical malpractice and surgical errors.


How Do Nerves Work and Why Are They Important?


Nerves are part of the nervous system which is comprised of two parts, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.  The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord.  The peripheral nervous system is the branches of nerves that come out of the spine and extend to the far reaches of your extremities like your toes and fingers.


These peripheral nerves function by sending signals from one even of the nerve to the other end of the nerve.  Nerve branches are actually chains of little structures linked together to form the strand of a nerve.  They can detect moisture, heat, pressure, pain, and perform motor skills like moving.  Nerves send these singles from the point of sensation to the spinal cord and then to the brain.  Thus, nerves are responsible for almost all actions and sensation in the body—literally from your heads to your toes.  Any break in this connection may shut off a part of your body.


Causes of Surgical Errors Causing Nerve Damage


While the informed consent forms may provide that nerve damage is a common risk or complication in a surgery, that does not tell the whole story.  Some nerve injuries may occur, but most nerve injuries should never occur.  And how the damage to the nerve occurred is crucially important in assessing whether there was Minnesota medical malpractice.


Here are some common nerve injuries which are likely due to medical malpractice and surgical errors:


Cut straight through the nerve – It is almost always the case that, if a surgeon cuts directly through a nerve, it is likely medical malpractice.  The only rare exception being in an emergency situation to save someone’s life.  This is because surgeries should be taken precisely and with care.  Surgeons must identify “landmarks” on the body before making incisions and identify where the nerves should be anatomically.  Once the incision is made, surgeons are required to visually the nerves to avoid them.  If these tasks are done, it can be medical malpractice.


Positioning damage to the nerve – for long surgeries where a patient is anesthetized, the patient cannot tell the surgical team that an arm or leg hurts or is going “numb” due to pressure on it.  While awake we know this sensation (like pins and needles) and can move our limb.  Due to this improper positioning which can last for hours during a long surgery, the nerves can be compressed and damaged to the point where they will no longer function properly.  This type of positioning injury should never happen when surgeons and the surgical team in the operating room properly follow the protocols and correct limb positioning.


Anesthesia overdoses – Anesthesia is an incredibly powerful combination of drugs which is intended to knock you conscious, numb the pain, and paralysis you from moving during the operation.  But when too much anesthesia is used, it can become caustic and chemically damage some nerves.  This is particularly true of the peripheral nerves in the furthest parts of your body and the smallest parts of your body like the fingers and toes.  These nerves are particularly sensitive to chemical damage and if this occurs during a surgery, it is likely Minnesota medical malpractice due to anesthesia errors.


Victims of Possible Surgical Errors Should Call for a FREE Consultation


Surgical errors can be some of the most debilitating and painful errors, particularly when you are suffering from a nerve injury.  If you believe that you or your loved one may have been the victim of medical malpractice, call to schedule a FREE appointment.  We accept cases throughout Minnesota, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Duluth, or any other city.  Please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (612) 444-3374 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.


We also handle cases throughout the state of Oregon including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  Our Oregon office number is (541) 385-1999. 

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