Victims of Wernicke’s Encephalopathy in Medical Malpractice Cases
Your body needs thiamine to function correctly. Also referred to as vitamin B1, it is mainly used to convert your food into fuel that you need for energy. This important vitamin also helps you to get through stressful situations and provides strength to your immune system.
Thiamine deficiency is a severe condition that can significantly impact your body. A deficiency means that you do not have enough thiamine in your system. Many serious health problems result from low levels of thiamine, including Wernicke’s encephalopathy. This condition affects the brain and has the potential to be fatal. Physicians learn about the importance of optimal thiamine levels in their training programs. However, failures to diagnose a deficiency in this important vitamin are quite common.
There is potential for a deficiency in thiamine to occur before or after being admitted for treatment at a medical facility. Patients undergoing a gastrointestinal or bariatric procedure are most at risk. Pregnant women that are experiencing nausea area at risk of developing a thiamine deficiency problem. People eating diets that include high levels of carbohydrates may also need to have their thiamine levels checked.
Every patient that is showing signs of dehydration, undernourishment or long periods of nausea after a medical procedure should have their thiamine levels monitored. Left unchecked acute low levels of thiamine can result in brain lesions and potentially permanent damage to the brain.
Signs of an acute thiamine deficiency condition include:
- Concentration problems
- Loss of balance
- Mental fatigue
- Short term memory problems
- Visual disturbances
Due to the potential harm that can come to a patient due to a medical mistake, medical professionals must adhere to a high standard of care. This standard holds true in the case of a thiamine deficiency that has been left untreated. Patients with the symptoms listed above should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Physicians tend to use a triad of common symptoms in determining whether a patient is suffering from a thiamine deficiency problem. The three signs considered are a loss of balance, eye muscle dysfunction, and confusion. However, there are many patients with low levels of thiamine who do not present with these symptoms. Sometimes there are communication breakdown issues that lead to a failure to treat thiamine deficiency cases. Unfortunately for these patients, the results are devastating. The circumstances that lead to Wernicke’s encephalopathy are easily treatable quickly and simply with a shot of vitamin B1. However, failure to receive a diagnosis and treatment can be catastrophic to the patient.
For more information on medical malpractice cases in Frisco TX, contact Reynolds & Reynolds law firm at 214-891-6606 to schedule a consultation appointment today!
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