Anesthesia Errors: Medical Mistakes and Your Legal Options
Medical malpractice cases can take many different forms, though surgical errors are among the most deadly. Surgeons can make costly errors that lead to severe blood loss and long-term post-op complications. Yet it’s also possible for anesthesiologists to make serious mistakes that impact patient well-being.
The lawyers of Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. have helped countless clients in the Melbourne, FL area who’ve been harmed by negligent anesthesiologists. We’d like to go over some of the basics when it comes to anesthesia errors and the different forms they can take.
Types of Anesthesia
There are different kinds of anesthesia that may be administered. This includes:
- General Anesthesia - The patient is rendered completely unconscious.
- Spinal Epidural Anesthesia - Anesthesia is delivered by an injection through the spinal cord.
- Local Anesthesia - Pain is numbed in a specific part of the body, like a tooth or a single organ.
- Regional Anesthesia - Pain is numbed in an entire region of the body, such as an entire limb.
- Dissociative Anesthesia - Patients are conscious but are in a trance-like state.
Anesthesia errors can occur in all of these different types of anesthesia.
Too Much Anesthesia
If a patient is given too much anesthesia, there is a chance that they can wind up in a prolonged state of sedation. This is dangerous, and can put a patient in a coma if the dosage is especially high. Proper dosage must be considered, taking into account the patient’s height, weight, and body mass as well as the nature of the surgery.
Too Little Anesthesia
Too little anesthesia can result in patients returning to consciousness while a surgical procedure is being performed. In these cases, the patient is paralyzed and aware of the surgery being performed, but they cannot speak or do anything about it. Approximately 28 percent of patients experience pain when they become conscious. These experienced can be traumatizing.
Failure to Account for Allergic Reactions
Some patients will experience an allergic reaction to certain kinds of anesthesia. Prior to surgery it’s important for doctors and surgeons to check for any potential adverse reactions. Simple precautions like this can prevent major risks to patient wellness.
Mistakes with Intubation
Intubation is often a part of surgeries that involve anesthesia. It helps ensure that patients breathe properly during the procedure. Problems with intubation can affect a patient’s respiration during surgery, or damage to the patient's airways.
Problems with Patient Monitoring
A patient's vital signs must be monitored throughout surgery in order to prevent complications from occurring. If an anesthesiologist or surgeon is inattentive during surgery and failed to check on the patient’s vitals, minor issues could be missed and can wind up leading to surgical complications.
Miscommunication During Surgery
Communication is key in all fields, but it’s especially important in a surgery team. Surgeons and anesthesiologists need to be on the same page about the procedure, the needs of the patients, and any precautions that need to be taken. Problems with communication can be costly mistakes.
Learn More About Anesthesiology Errors
For more information about your legal rights and options following a surgical error, it’s important that you contact the medical malpractice lawyers at our law firm. The attorneys of Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you and your loved ones in your time of legal need.