Epidural anesthesia is a procedure that involves the injection of a local anesthetic into the epidural space of the spinal column. It is usually used during surgery or in childbirth to relieve pain. Administering an epidural is a very delicate procedure, which involves the insertion of a needle into the lumbar region of the lower back.
If the needle overshoots, it could penetrate the area too deeply and puncture the dural membrane. The person administering the epidural must locate the epidural space to administer the anesthetic.
The problem with epidurals is that trainees gain most of their experience from performing epidural procedures on actual patients. Obviously inexperienced operators have a higher chance of encountering complications. So this type of training has very high risk associated with it. Still hospitals often allow their trainees to “practice” on patients. If an epidural is not administered properly, it could have catastrophic consequences for the patient including paralysis and death. Some of the epidural injection complications include:
- Failure to block sensation
- Nerve damage
- Brain Damage
One of the most common complications is severe headache, which occurs when the dural membrane is punctured during the epidural administration. Dural punctures occur in close to 2 percent of cases in teaching hospitals. This occurs as a result of the tip of the epidural needle puncturing the dura mater causing cerebral spinal fluid to leak into the epidural space.
Hospitals have no right to use you as a guinea pig to train their young and inexperienced anesthesiologists. An epidural injection administered wrong can cause a variety of complications, including paralysis and death. If you or a loved one has suffered severe injuries or complications as a result of an epidural injection administered improperly, you have the right to compensation for your pain, suffering, loss of wages, continued treatment and in cases where death occurs, wrongful death.
We will make sure your legal rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.