Injuries Resulting from Anesthesia Errors Require Legal Representation
Anesthesia errors can occur when an anesthesiologist, nurse, or other medical professional administers anesthesia in the wrong amount, at the wrong site, or in the wrong form. Attorney Chris Olsen in San Diego, CA, can help you file a medical malpractice suit if an anesthesia error has resulted in injury to you or someone you love. He will pursue a settlement that covers your losses, but is always willing to go to court if an agreement cannot be reached. To schedule a free consultation, please call (619) 550-9352 today.
The Risks of Anesthesia
Anesthesia is essential in many medical treatments to maintain a patient’s comfort and cooperation. Unfortunately, mistakes happen when administering anesthesia, and sometimes they have very serious or fatal outcomes.
Under general anesthesia, the patient is monitored by an anesthesiologist to make sure heart, respiratory, and nervous system functions remain safe. The patient’s medical history and current health are a factor in determining the type of anesthesia used and other variables. Because general anesthesia errors can occur while the patient is unconscious, he or she may have little knowledge that a life-threatening event has taken place, such as anaphylactic shock or lack of oxygen. However, there may be injuries that present after surgery, such as neuropathy, heart attack, collapsed lung, stroke, or brain damage. If you have suffered an injury after surgery, it is critical that you obtain your medical records and consult an attorney who handles anesthesia malpractice cases.
Forms of Anesthesia
There are three forms of anesthesia, and each has a unique potential for error:
The patient is sedated with a combination of medications that are inhaled or delivered intravenously. Since the medications used to generate various states of sedation affect the central nervous system, they depress respiratory function. A dose that is too high may lead to a life-threatening situation in which breathing stops or circulatory function is altered. A dose that is too low may lead to anesthesia awareness, in which patients remain aware or semi-aware, but unable to move or communicate.
Numbing agents render one specific part of the body insensitive. With local anesthesia, patients remain fully conscious and aware of their surroundings. For example, many dermatological procedures are carried out under local anesthesia, as are most dental procedures. Common local anesthesia errors occur when a nerve block is not delivered properly and the patient can still feel the procedure taking place.
An entire section of the body is made numb to sensation. This can include epidural anesthetic to numb the lower half of the body during childbirth. Many regional anesthesia treatments are delivered through the spine, which makes errors especially dangerous. The spinal cord is a very sensitive part of the nervous system, and spinal cord injuries can have dramatic and devastating effects, such as partial paralysis and death.
The surest way to rebuild your life following injuries resulting from anesthesia errors is to hire an attorney who understands medical protocol.
Common Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia errors are often the result of:
- Failure to ask about allergies, lifestyle factors, or previous reactions to anesthesia
- Dosage errors
- Failure to monitor breathing and other vital signs during general anesthesia
- Failure to insert a breathing tube during general anesthesia
Common Injuries Resulting from Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia errors can cause:
- Heart attack
- Lack of oxygen to the brain (asphyxia)
- Brain damage and memory loss
- Cardiovascular injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Anesthesia awareness
Why You Need a Professional
Medical malpractice is difficult to prove, and most medical institutions retain aggressive legal counsel to disprove any charges of negligence. The surest way to rebuild your life following injuries resulting from anesthesia errors is to hire an attorney who understands medical protocol. Contact our office at (619) 550-9352 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.