What You Should Know About Anesthesia Malpractice
Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Anesthesia has been one of the greatest advances in modern medicine. It allows patients to undergo various surgical procedures, from wisdom tooth removal to heart transplants, and be in total comfort. Anesthesia also helps control blood pressure, breathing, heart rate and rhythm. However, if it is not administered correctly, it can result in dangerous complications.
Types of Anesthesia
There are three types of anesthesia that patients can receive:
- Local: With local anesthesia, an area of the body is injected with an anesthetic to numb it for a procedure. Local anesthesia is commonly used for dental fillings, biopsies and mole removal.
- Regional. Regional anesthesia is intended to block pain from a large area of the body, such as the stomach. You can remain awake. This type of anesthesia is used for procedures like epidurals, hysterectomies and C-sections.
- General. Patients who receive general anesthesia are completely unconscious during a surgical procedure. This type of anesthesia is used for major surgeries, like hip replacements and heart surgeries.
Anesthesia errors are one of the most common types of medical malpractice cases. If an anesthesiologist is negligent and causes harm to the patient, a malpractice lawsuit can arise. Here are the most common types of anesthesia errors.
- Wrong dosage. Anesthesiologists determine how much anesthesia to administer by assessing the patient’s weight, age and duration of the surgery. If they administer the wrong dosage, serious complications can occur. Too much anesthesia can lead to organ damage while too little anesthesia can cause the patient to wake up during surgery.
- Pre-operation errors. Before a surgery, an anesthesiologist is required to carefully review the patient’s medical records. If they do not do this, they can give patients drugs that they are allergic to, causing injury or death.
- Poor patient monitoring. An anesthesiologist’s job is not done after administering anesthesia. They must also monitor the patients’ blood oxygen content and consciousness level throughout the surgery. If they fail to do this, complications can occur.
- Intubation errors. Anesthesiologists must insert a breathing tube into a patient’s airway to help them breathe during surgery. If they do not place these tubes correctly, patients may suffer stroke, brain damage, nerve damage in the neck and other complications.