I had spinal surgery and it went badly. I have been reading about intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring and I believe it could have helped. Can I sue my surgeon for not performing IONM?

That’s a very good question. Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring involves the use of electrodes during surgery to gauge how the body’s nervous system is responding during surgery. It has been shown to help reduce, in most cases, the incidence of problems during the surgery.

In order to sue a doctor for medical malpractice, you must be able to show that a doctor-patient relationship existed, the doctor was negligent, and you were harmed as a result of that negligence. To find a doctor negligent, it must be shown that his or her conduct fell below a generally accepted standard of medical care. Normally, the testimony of another medical expert is used to show what standard of medical care is commonly met by similar competent professionals in the area.

Whether a doctor could be held liable for malpractice for failing to use IONM during surgery could be a tricky issue. It’s true that by failing to use IONM to monitor your surgery, there was a missed opportunity to be aware of problems before it was too late to stop the surgery. However, not all doctors use IONM during surgery. You will need to prove that other doctors in your doctor’s specialty, and for your type of surgery, use IONM to prevent problems, and that your doctor failed to do so.

If you have any questions about intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) and medical malpractice, call me, Conal Doyle, IONM attorney, at 310-385-0567. My team can help. I have experience in IONM malpractice cases. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.