Anesthesia is a critical component of modern surgery. After a patient receives general anesthesia, surgeons can operate on unconscious patients who do not feel pain. However, thousands of people are injured each year unnecessarily because of anesthesia errors. If you have been injured—or if a loved one has died—then you might receive compensation. Because these are complicated cases, you should meet with an experienced Daytona Beach medical malpractice attorney to review your case.
Common Anesthesia Errors
Patients expect that medical professionals use the care and experience of other competent medical professionals. Generally, anesthesia is very safe. Nevertheless, we continue to see many different anesthesia errors inside and outside the operating room:
- Delayed delivery. The anesthesiologist might wait too long to deliver the anesthesia because they are not paying sufficient attention during surgery. Other reasons for delayed delivery include IV mistakes or problems with leakage.
- Dosage error. An anesthesiologist might give a patient too little or too much anesthesia.
- Failure to diagnose complications. An anesthesiologist might not notice that the patient is in distress and therefore cannot properly respond to them.
- Inadequate monitoring. The anesthesiologist and other medical team members might not properly monitor the patient during surgery.
- Prolonged sedation. A patient can experience delirium and other problems if they are sedated too long.
- Intubation errors. Sometimes an anesthesiologist needs to intubate a patient during surgery so that they can breathe safely. Errors can injure the patient.
Any mistake made in the operating room can carry dangerous complications for patients. Anesthesia errors are also serious and can result in the following:
- Loss of bodily function
- Injury to the cardiovascular system (such as stroke or heart attack)
- Tracheal damage due to negligent intubation
- Brain damage
- Spinal cord injury
Another serious injury that warrants mention is anesthesia awareness. Some patients regain consciousness during the surgery because the anesthesiologist does not properly monitor them. Horrifyingly, the patient can hear conversations in the operating room and sometimes can even feel pain during the surgery—though they are unable to speak or communicate their awareness to anyone.
According to one study, anesthesia awareness strikes about 21,000 Americans each year. There are some well-known causes. For example, some patients cannot receive a normal dosage of anesthesia because of medical issues or because the team is responding to an emergency. Nevertheless, some anesthesia awareness stems from negligent medical care. As a result of their awareness, many patients experience intense emotional distress from the experience of being awake during surgery.
Legal Guidance after an Anesthesia Mistake
Anesthesia errors injure or kill countless patients, and doctors must be held accountable for their errors. If you have suffered an injury in the operating room, then we want to hear from you.
At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach medical malpractice attorneys are prepared to seek compensation on your behalf to make up for your injuries and economic losses. To start the process, please contact us by calling or submitting our online contact sheet. Our initial consultations are free.