Dr. Greg Vigna discusses the failure to diagnose epidural abscess resulting in catastrophic neurological injuries.

“The problem with spinal epidural abscesses is not treatment but early diagnosis—before massive neurological symptoms occur.” (Strohecker and Grobovschek-1986).

Dr. Greg Vigna, national pharmaceutical injury attorney, national neurological injury attorney, and Certified Life Care Planner states, “Hospitals have been cutting corners in the emergency rooms across the country, replacing physicians with nurse practitioners leading to failure to diagnose epidural abscess. The result is catastrophic neurological injuries including paralysis and cauda equina syndrome.”

“Hospitals have been cutting corners in the emergency rooms across the country, replacing physicians with nurse practitioners leading to failure to diagnose epidural abscess.”— Dr. Greg Vigna

Spinal epidural abscesses are considered a neurosurgical emergency if there are progressive neurological deficits such as weakness, worsening ability to walk, bowel and bladder dysfunction. With proper timely diagnosis, paralysis may be avoided and will lead to optimal outcomes. Failure to timely diagnose may lead to permanent neurological deficits, including bowel and bladder impairment, impairments in sexual function, and paralysis.

Red flag warning signs of epidural abscesses include the following:

• Cervical spine: Neck pain. Bilateral upper extremity numbness, pain in the arms that may be described as burning, and weakness. Numbness and weakness in the legs. Bowel and bladder dysfunction includes difficulty starting stream, leaking of urine, and numbness of the genitals.

• Thoracic spine: Mid-back pain that may have a band of pain around chest. Weakness and numbness involving the legs. Bowel and bladder dysfunction including difficulty starting stream, leaking of urine, and numbness of the genitals.

• Lumbar spine: Low back pain. Weakness and pain in the legs. Bowel and bladder dysfunction including difficulty starting steam, leaking of urine, and numbness of genitals.

Dr. Vigna states, “As a spinal cord injury physician I have medically managed dozens of patients who are gravely disabled from epidural abscess where there had been delays in diagnosis because of failures to order necessary diagnostic tests including CT scans and MRIs. The results include paraplegia, quadriplegia, and cauda equina syndrome. Many times, the diagnoses occurs in patients who are known to be at risk of serious spinal infections because of IV drug abuse and those who have had recent spinal surgeries. Delayed diagnosis leads to paraplegia, quadriplegia, and cauda equina syndrome.”

Greg Vigna, MD, JD is a California and Washington DC lawyer who focuses on catastrophic neurological injuries cause by the vaginal mesh, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, brachial plexus injuries, and medical malpractice. He is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The Vigna Law Group is a national neurological injury law firm and national pharmaceutical injury law firm that co-counsels with leading trial attorneys across the country to achieve justice.

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References:
http://www.ajnr.org/content/ajnr/38/2/418.full.pdf
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-1331.2008.02510.x
http://www.halsatips.com/pdf/1020022277.pdf

Greg Vigna
Greg Vigna, M.D., J.D.
+1 800-761-9206
[email protected]
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