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Medical condition leads to boy’s spinal cord injury

When people think of spinal cord injuries, it’s generally assumed that the severe physical trauma that led to the injury was caused by something such as a car accident. But illnesses can also lead to serious spinal cord damage.

The parents of a little boy in Reno initially though he was suffering from flu symptoms, but in just five days, the 10-year-old’s condition worsened dramatically. Concerned, his parents took him to the emergency room, and after the treating physician could not identify anything wrong with the boy from standard blood, urine and CT scans, the physician suggested calling a pediatric neurologist.

Unfortunately, though, the neurologist denied treatment, saying he was not taking on new patients. On a hunch, the treating physician suspected the little boy might have a condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome, or GBS, which can cause permanent damage to the spinal cord, leading to problems with swallowing and breathing. The doctor suggested that the boy undergo a spinal tap.

The boy’s parents took him to a hospital in California where, after a spinal tap confirmed the treating physician’s hunch, doctors treated the child for GBS.

The parents were very upset by the pediatric neurologist’s denial of treatment, and the parents have filed a complaint with the Nevada Medical Board.

Spinal cord damage can occur as a result of many kinds of accidents and illnesses. However, if another party’s negligence was a factor in the injury, then victims or their families may want to explore the legal avenues for holding the responsible party accountable. Spinal cord injuries sometimes require years of medical care and physical therapy, and people suffering from spinal cord injuries shouldn’t have to take on the added financial burden of receiving that care.

Source: My News 4, “A Need for Neurologists,” Dec. 2, 2013

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