Anesthesia errors a serious form of medical malpractice
When undergoing a major surgery requiring general anesthesia, you’re very vulnerable to the attention and care of your doctors. Often, errors that occur during the surgery itself make the news, such as a doctor leaving surgical implements or sponges in the patient, operating on the wrong body part, or failing to adequately sterilize surgical implements. However, should an anesthesiologist make an error in putting you under, you may have become a victim of medical malpractice before you ever reached the operating table.
There are several kinds of anesthesia: general, local, and regional. Local and regional anesthesia will numb only certain body parts or areas of the body, allowing you to remain conscious for the surgery. Generally speaking, these forms of anesthesia allow for fewer opportunities for complications, since the patient remains able to communicate with the physicians about any discomfort or developing problems. General anesthesia, on the other hand, entails making a patient unconscious with a combination of drugs that cause relaxation (softening the muscles so that the surgeons can access any affected areas), analgesia (an inability to feel pain from the surgery), and hypnosis (unconsciousness). Anesthesiologists will calculate how much of each drug to administer based on the patient’s size, as well as the estimated length of the surgery. Should the anesthesiologist calculate this formula incorrectly, a patient could remain partially conscious and able to feel pain, or excessively sedated, such that brain damage or even death could result.
Many medical issues are involved in anesthesia delivery
Doctors are required to warn patients who are about to undergo surgery of the need to fast from foods and certain drink prior to surgery, and also to determine any possible harmful interactions that could occur between the anesthesia the patient will receive and any medications the patient takes. Nausea or seizures could result from a bad interaction between medicines, a failure of the doctor to issue appropriate warnings, or an allergy to the drugs. Anesthesiologists must intubate patients once under the effects of the drugs, since their relaxing effect causes a failure of the patient to breathe independently, and carefully monitor the patient throughout surgery for any dangerous rises or falls in blood pressure. Anesthesiology errors frequently take the form of teeth being chipped from sloppy intubation, a failure to intubate at the appropriate time leading to brain damage for lack of oxygen, and damage to the airway from the breathing tube.
If you or a loved one may have been the victim of medical malpractice in the form of an anesthesia error in Alabama, contact an experienced Mobile medical malpractice attorney at the Law Office of J. Allan Brown, L.L.C. for a consultation on your claims, at 251-473-6691.