What are Anesthesia Errors?
During surgery, patients are often put to sleep through the process of anesthesia for the duration of the surgery. However, serious errors can occur when administering anesthesia medication. The effects of anesthesia errors can be severe and lasting. This is true both for general anesthesia (when a patient is put completely under for a procedure) and local anesthesia (when part of a patient is numbed during a procedure).
Types of Anesthesia Errors
Just like any other drug, there are a variety of ways anesthesia drugs can effect patients. Some of the most common types of anesthesia errors include:
- Administering the wrong anesthesia drug
- Giving an overdose of one or more anesthetic drugs
- Providing too little of one or more anesthetic drugs leading to anesthesia awareness, or where the patient is aware of and feels the entire surgery
- Dispursing anesthetic drugs to a patient with known allergies
- Using defective or dirty medical devices and equipment during the administration of anesthetic drugs
- Delaying delivery of anesthesia drugs
- Failure to properly administer oxygen during surgery
- Failing to properly monitor the patient under anesthesia
- Not preventing anesthesia interactions with prescription medication drugs
- Not properly instructing patients prior to anesthesia
- Failure to follow up with post-surgical care
Anesthesia Error Injuries
When one or more of the above happens, the consequences for a patient can be dire. Minor complications that normally clear up on their own include dizziness, blurred vision, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and fatigue. Major complications from anesthesia errors may include nerve damage, heart arrhythmia, damage from inadequate oxygen supply, heart damage, organ damage, brain damage, paralysis, spine injuries, seizures, stroke, coma, and death.
What to do if You Suspect Anesthesia Errors
If a patient experiences one or more of the above injuries after a surgery, it can be the result of an anesthesia error. It is vital that the patient is seen right away, diagnosed, and treated. Any physician or hospital staff that fails to do so can be liable for medical malpractice. Reporting a concern to a doctor or appropriate agency can help, but it can also cause the health care provider responsible to “cover their tracks.” With the help of an experienced attorney, a patient who has suffered an anesthesia error can collect evidence, file a anesthesiology malpractice claim, and receive compensation.
Anesthesia Errors Lawyers
If you or someone you know has undergone anesthesia and suffered a serious injury in Pennsylvania, contact the anesthesia errors lawyers at Lopez McHugh LLP immediately for a confidential, no obligation consultation.