Anita is one of the numerous cases whose acute inflammation after an epidural complication was misdiagnosed. It took more than 16 years for her to get the first right diagnosis of caused damages – myelitis. Myelitis doesn`t occur without any acute inflammation in the spinal cord. The acute inflammation can be caused by the chemically induced arachnoiditis and then the myelitis is actually the damage of arachnoiditis.
Misdiagnosing is a common worldwide problem. Because cases aren’t diagnosed it gives a false impression of safety of the epidural anaesthesia. The collected and published data about complication cases is just like a ice berg , the rest is hiding in deep from the surface.
If all chemically induced arachnoiditis cases would be diagnosed correctly the epidural anesthesia would lose its popularity. Anesthesiology seems to forgotten the Hippocratic Oath: First do no harm, when denying real risks of the obstructive anaesthesia.
When a complication occurs and the patient is misdiagnosed , the patient won’t get the needed treatment for the acute inflammation, which may prevent the devastating adhesive stage of arachnoiditis. The sad fact is that misdiagnosis also will stole patients’ rights for any compensation. We can ask if misdiagnosing is done deliberately and/or consciously? Whose benefit is left iatrogenic arachnoiditis cases without the correct diagnosis ?
Anita: “I was injured by an epidural during childbirth/caesarean section in 1992. I got some inflammation in the nervous system, which in the beginning looked to be like multiple sclerosis and later like a mixture of multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
I haven’t had any spinal or epidural anesthesia after my epidural complication. I had a lumbar puncture only once in 1997 when doctors tried find out the reason for my neurological symptoms. After the lumbar puncture I haven’t allowed anyone to go with a needle near my spinal canal.
Finally after 16,5 years, at another hospital, I met a new neurologist who seriously wanted to have a diagnosis for my symptoms which has remained without any named cause. It was found out after examinations that I have damage in my spinal cord, myelitis, which is my main diagnosis. My extrapyramidal symptoms is diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. I got dopamine for relief of my symptoms. Before starting with dopamine I was in very poor condition. I was mostly in the bed and I needed a lot of help with daily routines.
I have a blog where I write about epidural complications. The childbirth is the most natural thing and any woman should not be injured only because having a baby. You are welcome to read my blog which can be translated from Swedish into any language:
Anita Nyberg Ekenberg , Patient Advocate , Sweden.
There is a Scandinavian aid group in Facebook.Another Swedish woman Helene Zetterströms has created the group Epidural/Spinal Skadade Medlemmar (Sverige, Norge, Danmark, Finland) .