Why Does My Child Have Mood Swings After Surgery?


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The hospital experience with a child is never enjoyable, and this is especially true when surgery is involved. While all of the doctors and nurses have the best interests of their young patients in mind, that does not take away the fear and anxiety that run through the veins of every parent. All surgeries come with some degree of risk. There are potential side effects of the anesthesia, complications that could occur during the procedure, pain that will likely be experienced afterwards and the possibility that an error could be made by one of the medical professionals.

One side effect that may present itself after surgery is mood swings. If your child experienced mood swings following his or her surgical procedure, there are several potential causes.

Reaction To Anesthesia

Every patient reacts to anesthesia differently, and this medical concoction can be even more potent on children. While many patients may come out of anesthesia just fine, it is also common for patients to experience uncomfortable side effects. A few of the common reactions to anesthesia include nausea, vomiting, chills, muscle aches, itching and confusion. Yet another side effect of anesthesia can be mood swings.

Both surgery and anesthesia can be traumatic on the body, so your child may not feel completely normal right away. The mood swings that arise after surgery are usually temporary, but they may last as long as two weeks. You can help your child readjust by holding them, providing love and support, talking to them about their worries and playing doctor to get a better idea of their feelings. While this type of reaction to anesthesia may seem daunting at the time, the fortunate part is that the mood swings will usually subside after a little while.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain is damaged by an outside force, and it can lead to the development of mood swings. Instances like a violent blow to the head from being hit by a fast moving baseball or a severe jolt of the head that occurred during a car wreck are what we typically think of when considering causes of a traumatic brain injury. However, there are several potential surgical scenarios that could also lead to this type of damage.

There is a greater chance of traumatic brain injury in any type of surgery that involves a child’s brain. If your son or daughter had a condition such as a brain tumor or a brain aneurysm, then the mood swings could have manifested themselves after his or her brain was impacted by the disease and/or corrective surgery. Additionally, if your child experienced a lack of oxygen (anoxia or hypoxia) during the surgery, then irreversible brain injury could have occurred, which is another potential cause of mood swings.

Doctor’s Mistake

You sought out the absolute best doctor to perform your child’s surgery, and you trusted the team of medical professionals with your pride and joy. Unfortunately, errors happen every single day while someone is on the operating table. If your child is experiencing mood swings after his or her surgery, they could be a result of mistakes that occurred during the procedure.

Was the oxygen tank not filled sufficiently? Did the doctor exhibit some type of negligence? Was the hospital not properly staffed? If you are concerned that your child’s mood swings may be a result of medical malpractice, contact us today. Our team of expert doctors can help you navigate through this difficult time.

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.