Paraplegia is paralysis that results in an incomplete or complete loss of use of the lower extremities, particularly the legs and sometimes the middle or lower part of the torso. This type of paralysis is different than quadriplegia which affects all four limbs, or monoplegia which only affects one limb. There are many causes of paraplegia including disease and injury, which both conditions could be due to Oregon medical malpractice. Spinal cord injuries are one of the most common causes of paraplegia. According to government-funded research, that are almost 18,000 new spinal cord injuries each year and approximately 40% of all spinal cord injuries are either incomplete or complete paraplegia. Victims of Oregon medical malpractice which resulted in any type of paralysis, including paraplegia, should contact our Oregon paraplegia lawyers.
What is Paraplegia?
Paraplegia is the paralysis of the lower extremities, particularly the legs and torso. Spinal cord injuries are the most common causes for paraplegia injuries. The spinal cord is protected in the hard vertebrae which go up and down your back. This is the spinal column which connects to the base of the skull. The spinal cord and the brain form the central nervous system, which sends and processes messages. If the spinal cord is injured, it may impair the ability of the brain, spinal cord, and the other nerves that branch out of the spinal cord (peripheral nervous system) from communicating.
Generally with paraplegia, injuries to the spinal cord occur in the thoracic or lumbar regions of the spine. These are the mid-shoulders to the lower back. Some spinal cord injuries which are higher on the spinal cord could result in some decrease sensation or movement function of the hands and fingers. But generally most spinal cord injuries below the mid-shoulders only affect the trunk and legs. The lower the injury is on the spinal column, the less likely that the trunk will be involved.
Two are two types of paraplegia. The first is an incomplete paraplegia which is when there is partial damage to the spinal cord. According to the same government research, 20.4% of all paraplegia cases are incomplete injuries. The damage results in some loss of the ability to move, sense, and function, but there is no full loss of control.
The second is a complete paraplegia which is when there is complete severance of the spinal cord or damage which completely inhibits messages to and from the brain. The same research provides that 20.2% of all paraplegia cases are complete injuries. This means that the brain’s messages and the responses from the peripheral nervous system cannot be sent and received below the damages location. This means that total loss of sensation and function will occur, and rehabilitation is difficult and unlikely. This is a catastrophic injury.
Costs of Paraplegia
Even though paraplegia only affects the legs and trunk, rarely the hands, it is a very costly injury. According to research, the average yearly costs of healthcare, living expenses, and lifetime costs directly attributed to quadriplegia is approximately are staggering and debilitating, especially because a victim will likely be unable to work in the same capacity.
For instance, the average yearly costs for paraplegia in the first year is $537,271 and each year after that is $71,172. The average lifetime costs for paraplegia at the age of 25-years-old is $2,391,872. The average lifetime costs for paraplegia at the age of 50-years-old is $1,569,714. These are heavy, debilitating figures.
Causes of Paraplegia Due to Oregon Medical Malpractice
While the most common causes for paraplegia are motor vehicles accidents and falls, Oregon medical malpractice causes an unacceptable amount of paraplegia injuries. There are two ways that medical malpractice can cause paraplegia. The first is by negligent actions, such as drilling through the spinal cord during surgery. The second is by negligent omissions, which are a failure to act such as diagnosing and treating a spinal cord disease like the calcification of a spinal disc.
The most common causes of paraplegia injuries due to Oregon medical malpractice include the following:
Bend/Portland, Oregon Paraplegia Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.