Whether a procedure is routine or complex, doctors often use anesthesia to prevent pain during surgery. Typically, anesthesia is administered for the duration of the surgery and wears off after the surgery is completed. Since anesthesia is an incredibly powerful drug, it can have fatal effects if administered improperly. An anesthesiologist must be very careful and monitor the patient to make sure there are no signs of distress. An anesthesiologist can monitor a patient’s blood pressure, heartbeat, and oxygen levels to ensure that the anesthesia is not having a negative effect. However, an anesthesiologist can make a life-threatening mistake if he or she administers too much anesthesia and/or does not adequately monitor a patient. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an anesthesia error in Pennsylvania, it is essential to speak with an attorney. The experienced attorneys at Friedman Schuman can determine if negligence was a factor in causing harm or injury to the patient. Our firm is ready to take on your case and recover damages to aid in the costs related to the error. Contact Friedman Schuman today for strong legal representation when you need it most.
Types of anesthesia & associated risks
An anesthesiologist should determine the necessary dosage for a patient based on the patient’s medical history, if they have any allergies, as well as their height and weight. These factors can also help determine which form of anesthesia is appropriate for the patient and the surgery. There are three different categories of anesthesia, including:
- Local: Local anesthesia numbs only the area that is undergoing surgery and allows a patient to remain conscious during the procedure. This is often used in minor procedures and can be administered via injection to the site of surgery.
- Regional: Regional anesthesia is administered to numb a certain part of the body, whether for surgery or otherwise. There are two forms of regional anesthesia, spinal and epidural. Epidurals are injected into the lower spine and used during childbirth to numb the pelvis area. Spinal anesthetic is injected near the spinal cord to numb the lower body for orthopedic procedures or caesarian sections.
- General: General anesthesia is used to put a person to sleep during surgery. Before surgery, an anesthesiologist may administer an IV or give a patient a breathing mask to inhale anesthesia, causing a patient to lose consciousness for the duration of the surgery.
It is important that your anesthesiologist understands your medical history before determining the required dosage. While some people are allergic to anesthesia, others have a medical history that proves a risk of adverse reactions. The anesthesiologist will constantly monitor relevant health conditions during the surgery or procedure. Unfortunately, issues with anesthesia can cause serious complications. In the most severe cases, anesthesia errors can be fatal. Some anesthesia error issues can be the fault of medical negligence. Some problems may include:
- Poor communication
- Overdose of anesthesia
- A patient can wake up mid-surgery if not given enough anesthesia
- Failure to monitor allergic reactions
- Failure to monitor other health issues
Contact an experienced anesthesia errors attorney
If you or a loved one is the victim of an anesthesia error, the repercussions can be lifelong or even fatal. After a devastating anesthesia error, it is important to determine who should be held accountable. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can assess your case and effectively represent your needs. If you need strong legal representation for a medical malpractice case, contact Friedman Schuman today.