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Could you become paralyzed from an epidural?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

When having a baby, the majority of women use an epidural. Some studies put it around 60%. This is a simple way to reduce the pain of labor, making it more comfortable to have a child. Nothing makes it easy, but an epidural can help.

However, there are those who are very worried about getting an epidural because they think that it’s going to cause serious complications. The anesthesiologist has to make an injection into your spine, so one thing people worry about is becoming paralyzed. Could you theoretically suffer such a bad spinal injury from an epidural that you could never walk again?

It is rare, but complications happen

Experts are quick to point out that something like this is rare. However, the other side of that coin is that it can and does happen. Most people who have complications after an epidural just talk about lingering back pain. This may go away after a few days or a few weeks, or it may stay. But it is possible for this injury to be very serious, even if it’s rare. It’s a risk that you have to understand you’re taking when you get an epidural.

Why would these complications occur?

The big issue here is that the needle itself, or the medication that is being administered, could lead to nerve damage. This is why it’s so important to talk to your doctor if everything doesn’t go back to feeling right very quickly after you get off of the epidural.

These types of complications could occur for a lot of reasons, such as the anesthesiologist making a mistake when inserting the needle into your spinal fluid. If they strike a nerve, insert the needle too deeply, miss their mark or make some other type of error, this could cause complications for you that you never expected.

If this does happen, it may be because the anesthesiologist or someone else on the medical staff was being negligent. They did not give you the type of care that you deserved, and now you have serious nerve injuries and spinal issues that may never heal. It’s important for you to understand all of the potential legal options at your disposal.

Don’t assume that the fact that something is rare means that it cannot or will not happen. Even if it doesn’t happen often, it is life-changing for those to whom it occurs.