Severe injuries can result after a car crash, fall, or other serious medical incident. Emergency medical care can help save lives or reduce the long-term impact of injuries. Unfortunately, sometimes the care received immediately after an injury makes the condition significantly worse.
Spinal cord injuries can cause life-altering symptoms. However, not all spinal cord injuries cause permanent medical consequences. Incomplete spinal cord injuries might respond to medical interventions. People suffering from these can sometimes recover lost function and sensation.
Sadly, the actions taken by paramedics could potentially worsen the injury someone suffered, potentially turning an incomplete injury that someone might recover from into a complete injury with no symptom improvement possible.
Paramedics should always stabilize those with a possible neck or back injury
Anyone who has gone through first aid training knows that there are rules against physically moving someone who cannot communicate or move themselves. The idea is that when someone has a spinal cord injury, lifting them, rolling them over, or otherwise trying to move them could potentially worsen the injury. Even a small change in pressure or body position could do irreparable damage, so those providing first aid should always wait for medical professionals to arrive.
Paramedics and emergency medical technicians are trained about how to properly stabilize and transport someone with a possible spinal cord injury. Ideally, trained first responders can help get someone the care they need quickly while also protecting them from additional damage.
Failing to follow proper immobilization procedures could mean that a paramedic turns an incomplete injury into a permanent source of paralysis. If someone had some motor control or sensation prior to their transportation by an ambulance, then they may have experienced a medical mistake by paramedics that worsened the underlying injury.
Doctors aren’t the only ones who can commit acts of medical malpractice
Although physicians have to carry malpractice insurance, they are not the only ones who could potentially commit medical negligence. Paramedics, nurses, pharmacists, and even technicians can all make mistakes that affect someone’s medical condition.
Filing a medical malpractice claim against a medical professional who worsened your injury could help you recover compensation that covers your future medical expenses and lost earning potential.