It is a common occurrence for women to receive an epidural during childbirth and/or prior to a cesarean section. The procedure involves a needle being inserted into a woman’s spine with pain medicine to block the pain of childbirth or surgical incisions. Mothers in Massachusetts may be interested to learn about one woman’s medical malpractice lawsuit involving an epidural procedure gone wrong 15 years ago.
The woman was due to deliver her third child through a scheduled C-section. According to her medical records, the procedure, which routinely lasts only minutes, took about 40 minutes to complete. The woman claims to have been unaware that something went wrong with the procedure and was not alerted. The physician performing the procedure apparently only documented that the first epidural attempt did not provide the anesthesia effect intended.
The now 42-year-old was told that she had a 1-inch piece of a needle stuck in her spine after a CT scan a year ago. The woman had been having difficulty sitting and exercising due to back and leg pain for years prior to the diagnostic scan. The woman and her lawyers believe that the epidural prior to her third son’s birth resulted in the pain. In addition, the lawsuit claims that physicians intentionally covered up the mistake by ignoring signs that something had gone terribly wrong such as a significantly shorter needle and no present needle tip upon removal from the woman’s spine. The woman reports that more than one expert has informed her that the needle piece can no longer be removed without risk of her becoming paralyzed.
Whether a medical mistake is made due to ignorance or negligence, the patient is the one who suffers. Patients often endure additional pain, medical expenses, treatment and a decreased quality of life as a result of a medical mistake. Massachusetts medical malpractice attorneys are able to advise patients of the process of filing a lawsuit. When compensation is awarded, patients are often able to finance the necessary medical care or improve their quality of life.