Early diagnosis and adequate treatment of a spinal epidural abscess can greatly improve a patient’s future quality of life, according to the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry (JNNP). A misdiagnosis of spinal epidural abscess can leave a patient with long-term spinal cord injuries.
A spinal epidural abscess is mass of infected material fixed between the bones of the spine, and the membranes covering the spinal cord. If this spinal cord injury is not diagnosed before weakness, paralysis or sensation changes occur, the patient is at great risk for permanent nervous system damage or death.
To avoid a delayed diagnosis of a spinal epidural abscess, doctors and patients should be aware of the following symptoms:
• Bowel or bladder incontinence • Difficulty urinating • Fever and back pain
A number of tests are available to diagnose spinal epidural abscesses. Doctors can make an early diagnosis by performing an MRI or CT, according to JNNP.
Since spinal epidural abscesses can occur and with MRIs and CT Scans doctors can diagnose the condition, a misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis should not occur. In the event of a medical misdiagnosis, the healthcare provider should be held accountable for his or her action or inaction, especially when the life of a patient has been altered forever.
Medical misdiagnosis victims left with debilitating spinal cord injuries may be eligible for compensation and are urged to speak with a spinal cord injury lawyer regarding their rights.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Anapol Weiss are part of an experienced team of Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with spinal cord injuries.