Anesthesia practices have revolutionized the medical world, allowing doctors to perform once impossible surgeries and procedures. When anesthesia is properly administered and monitored, a patient can go to sleep before surgery and wake up after surgery without any recollection of their procedure.
However, if anesthesia is not properly administered or supervised by a diligent anesthesiologist, the results can be traumatic. Anesthesia errors often result in patients experiencing intense pain during or after surgery. Unfortunately, anesthesia errors can result in long-term and even permanent injuries.
Anesthesia errors are a form of medical malpractice that occur when an anesthesiologist or another member of the anesthesia team makes a preventable mistake. If you or someone you know and love has been injured or has lost their life because of an anesthesia error, contact an experienced medical error lawyer right away. A West Palm Beach anesthesia error lawyer may be able to help you recover for your injuries and losses.
Common Anesthesia Mistakes
An anesthesiologist is a doctor who has been specially trained to induce a temporary state of decreased sensation and awareness. An anesthesiologist’s practice may include administering analgesics to reduce or prevent pain, inducing temporary muscle paralysis, inducing unconsciousness, and amnesia.
When anesthesia is properly administered and a patient is properly monitored before, during, and after anesthesia, an anesthesiologist can make a surgical procedure more successful.
However, even a relatively routine surgical procedure can be risky and an anesthesiologist must monitor a patient’s heart rate, blood pressure and circulation, breathing and respiration, and body temperature. Some of the errors an anesthesiologist or another member of the anesthesia team can make include:
- Administering the wrong medication or the wrong dosage
- Improperly intubating a patient
- Failing to monitor a patient’s condition
- Failing to monitor oxygen delivery to a patient
- Failing to recognize complications as they arise
- Failing to provide a patient with proper pre-operative instructions
- Failing to provide a patient with proper post-operative instructions
While an anesthesiologist may not be a regular part of a patient’s medical team, when they are negligent, their actions or inactions can result in long-term and even permanent damage. However, proving that an anesthesiologist was negligent is not always an easy task.
A West Palm Beach anesthesia error lawyer will often use expert medical witnesses to determine what happened during a surgery and how an anesthesiologist may be liable for an injury.
Injuries Resulting from Anesthesia Errors
The impact of an anesthesia error can result in devastating and often permanent injury. The most common injuries and occurrences of anesthesia malpractice include:
- Blood clots
- Damage to the throat and larynx
- Respiratory damage
- Nerve damage
- Loss of sensory ability
- Wrongful death
The effects of an anesthesia error may result in a patient’s injury including strokes, brain damage, paralysis, coma, and death. A West Palm Beach anesthesia error lawyer can help answer questions about medical malpractice claims resulting from anesthesia errors.
There have been numerous medical journals, television shows, and news reports of a phenomenon known as anesthesia awareness, which is known in the medical community as unintended intra-operative awareness. This condition occurs when an anesthesiologist prescribes or administers too little of one or more of the anesthetic medications, resulting in the patient experiencing some level of consciousness during a surgical procedure.
Patients who have endured anesthesia awareness report that they were aware of their surroundings and often experienced a significant amount of pain, however, they were incapable of moving or speaking to alert doctors. Often patients who experience anesthesia awareness develop post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the experience.
West Palm Beach Anesthesia Error Attorneys Can Help
Anesthesia errors are unique medical errors that may not always be apparent. Medical records and operation reports must be closely examined to determine if an anesthesia error occurred. A West Palm Beach anesthesia error lawyer can help determine if an anesthesia error occurred.