Visitor Question

Stroke caused by spinal epidural?

Submitted By: Cheryl (Montgomery, Alabama)

I went in for an injection (spinal epidural) in the neck for pain. The day after the injection I couldn’t walk and was having spasms on my right side. I had lots of pain and had symptoms like a stroke. I went to the doctor and told him I had lots of weakness, numbness and that my head felt like I couldn’t hold it up. He sent me for an MRI of my back and neck, and said it was not from the shot.

Now he just called and said he feels like I suffered a stroke and he’s sending me to a neurologist for more tests. Can I sue if I did have a stroke resulting the shot that he gave me? How would I prove it was caused by the shot? I live in Alabama.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Cheryl,

The answer is a bit complicated. In most cases, if the proper medical protocol for your neck pain was a spinal epidural and your symptoms were such that you didn’t present with other medical complications, then a stroke may not be sufficient to establish medical malpractice. The human body is a complicated machine. Some people react differently than others to medical treatment.

In the alternative, if your primary doctor failed to take into account your medical history, and that history made a spinal epidural out of protocol, and as a result you suffered a stroke, than you may have the basis of a medical malpractice claim.

Another factor will be the appropriateness of a spinal epidural for the injury you suffered from. If such an injection is not called for by the medical literature, and as a result you suffered a stroke then your doctor may have committed malpractice.

To establish whether your primary doctor’s actions were inappropriate you will need a second, and maybe a third opinion. Your medical history will be a very important factor. If there isn’t any evidence in your history of complications which might result from a spinal epidural, and a spinal epidural was the appropriate medical protocol, then your claim will likely not succeed.

In the event you suffered a stroke and believe it was the direct result of the doctor’s negligence, you would be best served by seeking the advice and counsel of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 13, 2013

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