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Anesthesia errors are a form of medical malpractice when they occur due to medical professional’s negligence or preventable mistake. In law, anesthesia error claims occur when a patient experiences unnecessary harm as a result of errors in administering anesthesia. Anesthesia errors can be performed by a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, or other medical staff members who administer anesthetic drugs to a patient.
If you, or someone you love suffered a catastropic injury or was killed because of negligently administered anesthesia, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled medical malpractice attorney, to protect your rights. The Carlson Law Firm offers free consultations.
During significant surgical procedures, qualified anesthesiologists and other personnel may be required to be present at all times. In many operations, the patient’s oxygenation, ventilation, circulation, and temperature must be continually evaluated to ensure that all vital signs are normal. Failure to do so may be considered negligence and grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Is Anesthesia?
The term anesthesia refers to a temporary, medically-induced state that causes any combination of amnesia, inability to feel pain, loss of skeletal muscle reflexes, loss of responsiveness, and decreased stress response. Administration of anesthetics may involve one or more types of drug, depending on the desired effect.
Anesthesia is most often used before medical procedures, such as surgery. As a result, patients do not experience the pain or distress that they might experience if they were conscious or receptive to the sensation. It is estimated that anesthetic drugs are administered roughly 40 million times per year.
Types of anesthesia include:
- General anesthesia, during which the patient is rendered unconscious
- Spinal and epidural anesthesia, which is delivered through injection near the spinal cord
- Local anesthesia to numb a specific bodily area, such as the urinary bladder or a tooth
- Regional anesthesia to numb larger areas of the body, such as an entire arm or leg
- Dissociative anesthesia, which causes a “trance-like” state of consciousness
Anesthesia malpractice can include:
- Provision of anesthesia without a full evaluation
- Anesthesia dosage errors
- Delayed delivery of anesthesia
- Failure to properly monitor vital signs
- Failure to recognize and treat complications
- Patient left unattended
- Equipment failure
- Improper use of equipment
- Medication and drug errors
- Pulmonary aspiration
- Epidural catheter complications
- Injuries at the anesthesia site
Effects of Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia errors may result in:
- Confusion and blurred vision
- Tinnitus, or a ringing noise in the ears
- Heart arrhythmia, or abnormal pulse
- Brain or organ damage
- Heart function problems
- Coma and death
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
If you were injured or lost a loved one because of a surgeon, anesthesiologist or other healthcare providers, you have limited time to act to preserve your claim. Please call us today to learn more about your options and to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.