How Does A Doctor Diagnose Locked In Syndrome?

How Does A Doctor Diagnose Locked In Syndrome? Learn how a doctor diagnoses locked-in syndrome, a rare neurological disorder.

Locked-in syndrome is a rare neurological condition in which the patient has quadriplegia who cannot breathe, swallow, chew, or speak. Communication is limited to blinks and vertical eye movements. A person with locked-in syndrome can see, hear, think, and reason usually. They have normal sleep and waking patterns. This cognitive awareness is a key difference between locked-in syndrome and other altered states of consciousness.

Because the patient is unable to communicate, a doctor must rely on other indicators to diagnose locked-in syndrome. It is important to have an exact diagnosis to create a treatment plan.

How a Doctor Diagnoses Locked-in Syndrome

According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), a diagnosis for locked-in syndrome is made clinically. Doctors will usually run a series of tests to diagnose locked-in syndrome.

The clinical tests that doctors use to diagnose locked-in syndrome include:

According to NORD, half of all reported locked-in syndrome patients are diagnosed by family members. Family caregivers are often the first to realize that their loved one can see, hear, and think even if their body is paralyzed.

Why an Accurate Diagnosis of Locked-in Syndrome Is Important

Imagine how terrifying it must feel to be paralyzed and unable to speak. However, many locked-in syndrome patients find nonverbal ways to communicate with their family and caregivers. The prognosis for locked-in syndrome improves when patients can interact with loved ones. This makes how a doctor’s accurate diagnosis of locked-in syndrome is key to a patient’s physical and emotional outlook.

Locked-in syndrome patients can learn to communicate with their caregivers and family. These communication methods include:

Being able to communicate is an important part of a patient’s overall treatment plan. Other lifecare services are necessary for a locked-in patient. These include:

Causes and Contributing Factors of Locked-in Syndrome

Locked-in syndrome is a secondary condition of an underlying injury or illness. Some of the most common causes of locked-in syndrome are:

Proving Medical Negligence as a Factor for Your Loved One’s Condition

Medical negligence can also be a contributing factor in locked-in syndrome. Doctors and other healthcare providers make mistakes. Even if they did not intentionally contribute to your loved one’s condition, you could be entitled to compensation for their error.

A locked-in syndrome lawyer can help determine if a healthcare provider or facility is liable. Certain conditions must be met to prove that medical negligence contributed to your loved one’s locked-in syndrome.

How a Locked-in Syndrome Lawyer Shows Liability

If a locked-in lawyer shows that medical negligence played a role in your loved one’s condition, you could recover damages for such losses as:

Our Firm Will Pursue Compensation for You and Your Loved Ones

Newsome Melton limits our practice to catastrophically injured clients and their families. We understand the unique circumstances of locked-in syndrome cases. A locked-in syndrome lawyer will pursue compensation from the liable party on a contingency fee basis. For a free consultation, please call (855) 633-2757.


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