Teen mum left unable to walk after epidural was 'stuck in her spine for days'

Teen mum left unable to walk after epidural was 'stuck in her spine for days'


A TEENAGE mum has been left unable to walk after doctors apparently failed to remove an epidural from her spine for three days.

Selena Gray, 18, was given the injection in her back to stop her feeling any pain when she went into labour on June 25.

She gave birth to baby Serenity the next day but in the early hours of June 28, she told Facebook followers that the doctors "cannot get the epidural out of my back".

Selena posted: “The doctors have been pulling on the epidural for a whole day but couldn’t get the epidural out of my back!"

An epidural is an injection in the back to stop you from feeling pain in part of your body.

A needle is used to insert a fine plastic tube called an epidural catheter between the bones of your back.

It's usually harmless but it can cause nerve damage – resulting in loss of feeling or movement in parts of the lower body.

But the new mum, from Florida, claims the tube had "looped itself" into her spine and caused a "knot".

She told Fox News at the time that her pain was "beyond at ten".

"My epidural looped itself into my spine – it's in a knot in my spine and they've been trying to tug at it and I haven't been able to get up or move," she said.

When epidurals go wrong

In rare cases, an epidural can lead to permanent loss of feeling or movement in, for example, one or both legs.

The causes are:

  • direct damage from the epidural needle or catheter
  • infection deep in the epidural area or near the spinal cord
  • bleeding in the epidural area, causing pressure on the spinal cord
  • accidentally injecting the wrong drugs down the epidural catheter

These are rare events, and anaesthetists undergo extensive training to reduce the chances of these complications.

Nerve damage can also happen for other reasons during surgery unrelated to the epidural.

Other complications of an epidural include:

  • low blood pressure
  • loss of bladder control
  • itchy skin
  • pain
  • headache
  • nausea
  • slow breathing
  • infection
  • fits
  • severe breathing difficulties
  • death

Source: NHS

The teen decided to check out of Sacred Heart hosptial where she gave birth and admitted herself to the hospital opposite – where doctors refused to touch her.

However, doctors were finally able to remove the epidural later in the day, and Selena was finally able to return home to her new baby girl.

She's still recovering from her traumatising ordeal.

The lodged epidural caused her legs to go dumb and for a while, she was looking at a worst case scenario of paralysis.

Officials from both the Sacred Heart and Baptist Hospitals declined to comment.

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