What is Locked-In Syndrome?

Posted By Power Rogers & Smith, P.C. || Oct 15, 2015

One of the most terrifying conditions is locked-in syndrome. This is a situation in which the body’s voluntary muscles — possibly except for the eyes — are paralyzed. The patient cannot communicate; they cannot move. It is a condition with many causes and finding the exact reason is important. This is because the patients are completely conscious during this time. They are aware of their surroundings, but they cannot move the voluntary muscles in the body. Full locked-in syndrome paralyzes the eye muscles as well.

Unfortunately, there are numerous factors that could cause someone to experience locked-in syndrome. These could include multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, brainstem stroke, medication overdose, and more. The actual syndrome itself is caused by damage to the brainstem or lower brain. There is no impact to the upper brain.

This is a rare condition that requires treatment aim directly at the underlying cause and rehabilitation. It is important to begin this as soon as possible in order to strengthen the body and muscles in hopes of allowing movement again. Unfortunately, because this could appear as a loss of consciousness or coma, locked-in syndrome is often misdiagnosed or even unrecognized in a number of cases. Misdiagnosis or failure to treat properly could be considered an act of malpractice and is serious. Without any type of treatment of the underlying cause, locked-in syndrome can cause long-term effects.

In the event that a doctor fails to diagnose or treat a patient properly, it may be possible to take legal action and file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Hiring a Chicago personal injury attorney from our team at Power Rogers & Smith, L.L.P. can help your family seek the compensation you need to care for your loved one. This can be a life-changing condition and making sure everything is correctly diagnosed and treated is important.

Categories: Medical Malpractice

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