When a person undergoes surgery, there are a number of substantial risks involved, including those associated with anesthesia. Statistics reveal that anesthesia errors occur at a fairly low rate, but they still occur more than they should. While the American Society of Anesthesiologists reports that anesthesia is administered 40 million times a year, errors occur in only a small number of these procedures. When anesthesia errors do occur, however, the results are often particularly serious. It is important for the victims of anesthesia mistakes to obtain the assistance of a seasoned attorney who can help to fight for adequate compensation for their injuries.
How Anesthesia is Administered
Anesthesia is administered by a specialized physician called an anesthesiologist. Sometimes, anesthesia is administered by other medical professionals, as well. Anesthetics are provided to patients so that they lose consciousness before surgery. Many people are not aware that there are actually several different types of anesthesia that can be used. The most common types of anesthesia include:
- Dissociative anesthesia: This type of anesthesia blocks a person’s nerve transmissions.
- Epidural and spinal anesthesia:. These anesthetics are delivered through an injection in a person’s spine.
- General anesthesia: This type of anesthesia involves complete sedation of the patient.
- Local anesthesia: This anesthesia is used to numb a specific part of the body.
- Regional anesthesia: This type of anesthesia numbs a larger part of the body than local anesthesia but a smaller part than general anesthesia.
Causes of Anesthesia Errors
Despite many developments in modern medicine, anesthesia errors are still known to occur in a number of ways, including the following:
- Administering the incorrect type of anesthesia
- Administering too little or too much anesthesia
- Failure to properly monitor a patient’s vitals during surgery
- Failure to provide proper instructions before administering anesthesia
- Failure to review a patient’s medical history
- Using defective equipment to administer anesthesia
It is important for patients to realize that despite the potential complications with anesthesia, the procedure is most often safe, and statistically, these errors occur at a very low rate; you should not hesitate to undergo physician-recommended medical procedures.
The Results of Anesthesia Errors
The injuries that result from anesthesia errors can range from small to quite serious. Some of the most common side effects associated with anesthesia errors include the following:
- Abnormal pulse
- Birth defects
- Blood pressure complications
- Blurred vision
- Brain damage
- Lung infections
- Mouth or teeth damage
- Organ damage
- Ringing in the ears
- Spinal cord injury
In the very worst cases, death is also known to occur as a result of anesthesia errors.
Speak with a Medical Malpractice Attorney
At Kruger & Hodges, we will fight tirelessly to obtain compensation for the resulting damages that malpractice victims are often left with, including medical bills, emotional suffering, lost wages, and others. Contact our law office today to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney who will inform you about your various options.