Anesthesia Errors Cause Severe Injury to Patients
It is thanks to anesthesia that modern medicine is able to accomplish such impressive surgical feats. Anesthesia itself has been a part of medicine long before modern surgery; back when the numbing of pain for healing practices was accomplished with herbs and tinctures. Today the process is thankfully much more refined which makes anesthesia a complicated field requiring responsibly trained and educated doctors to apply and manage it.
Due to its complexity, anesthesiology can be prone to all manner of errors that can compromise a patient undergoing a medical procedure. Should something go wrong with a patient’s anesthesia mid surgery, then they can suffer severe injuries. These damages sustained because of these injuries may be compensable if the anesthesia errors can be proven to have been caused by a healthcare provider’s negligence. By violating the standard of care expected of them, a negligent anesthesiologist can be held liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
How can Anesthesiology Harm a Patient?
When someone undergoes a medical procedure, they may require an anesthesiologist to assist because a procedure’s invasive nature could be extremely painful and complicate things. The anesthesiologist is tasked with ensuring that a patient is rendered unconscious and numb to any pin they would experience if they were awake.
They accomplish this task through the administration of anesthesia which consists of a variety of drugs that both render someone unconscious and regulate their vitals while they have been put under. Whenever any drug or medication is concerned, there is always potential for negligence and an incident that causes harm to a patient.
Forms of Anesthesia Negligence
Anesthesia problems can occur in a variety of ways because of negligence not only from an anesthesiologist but also various other kinds of healthcare providers as well. Should any of the following avoidable errors occur, then a healthcare provider could be considered negligent in a medical malpractice claim.
- The amount of anesthesia could be too much or too little. Too much anesthesia can cause respiratory or neural injury while too little anesthesia could result in a patient regaining consciousness.
- The wrong anesthesia can be administered. The wrong anesthesia applied could lead to a patient having negative reactions.
- The anesthesia could react negatively to a medication. Certain medications are not compatible with certain anesthetics because they cause clotting, respiratory issues, heart issues, etc.
- Anesthesia could be administered at the wrong time. A patient administered anesthesia too early or too late could be awake for part of their medical procedure.
- A patient could be allergic to the anesthesia. An allergic reaction in the middle of a surgery can cause a number of complications to arise on top of the allergic reaction that would take place.
- The equipment monitoring or administering the anesthesia could be faulty. This would result injuries due to wrong dosage or unmonitored anesthesia effects.
- The doctor could fail to give proper instruction to the person the anesthesia is being administered to. Some anesthesia requires that a patient not eat or drink for a certain amount of time before administration.
- The anesthesiologist could fail to monitor the anesthesia properly. The anesthesthetic levels could require a change in dosage due to a change in vitals.
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Injuries and Complications Caused by Anesthesia Medical Malpractice
When the aforementioned mistakes are made when administering anesthesia, the resulting injuries can range from minor tooth damage to lifelong disability. It is also not unusual to even have patients die because a healthcare provider failed to ensure their anesthesia was properly administered. Some of the more common injuries and complications caused by anesthesia medical malpractice consist of:
- Heart attack
- Tooth damage due to the placing of the breathing tube (intubation) during the operation
- Sore throat and/or damage to the larynx
- Allergic reaction from the anesthesia (known as anaphylaxis)
- Respiratory issues
- Birth defects with pregnant mothers
- Nerve Damage
- Post-operative pain
- Blood clotting
- Anesthesia awareness (the person regains consciousness during the operation).
Proving a Anesthesia Medical Malpractice Claim
The major components of any medical malpractice claim consist of identifying the liable party, proving their negligence, and showing how that negligence caused the plaintiff’s injury. Liable parties in a anesthesia medical malpractice case can consist of the anesthesiologist but also the hospital the surgery was performed in, any attending personnel, the pharmacist that vended the anesthetic, and anyone else that can be proven to have contributed to a negligence caused injury.
Proving a liable party’s negligence in a medical malpractice case requires comparison of the actions of the healthcare provider to what would be considered the standard of care. The standard of care is the expected professional level of healthcare afforded by healthcare providers comparable to the one in question. If a consensus is reached through the testimony of an expert witness that what the healthcare provider did violated that standard of care, then it could be considered negligent.
It is also imperative that an injury be directly linked to the negligent act in question. Some defendants will use the argument that something else caused the injury in question. The best way to combat this is documentation and reporting the injury as soon as possible. In anesthesia malpractice cases, the injury will often be significant and right on the surgery table but there may be some instances like a chipped tooth from intubation that can not be called into question.
Seek an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured because of the neglect of a healthcare provider, then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about receiving a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise you will need to secure the settlement that you deserve. Allow Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA to assist you in holding those liable for your injuries responsible while you recuperate.
For a free consultation on your claim you can contact us online or call (727) 451-6900
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765