The Painful Truth About Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia makes possible the painless performance of medical procedures that would otherwise cause severe or intolerable pain. As beneficial as anesthesia is, there is always some level of risk involved with any procedure requiring it. Its improper use can cause severe or fatal damage. When an anesthesiologist fails to provide a proper standard of care, he or she can be held accountable for any resulting injuries.
Crandall & Pera Law’s team of medical malpractice attorneys and registered nurses has helped patients and their families obtain maximum compensation for anesthesia errors that caused them significant injury. Now let us help you.
Common Anesthesia Errors
There are three broad categories of anesthesia: general anesthesia, sedation and local anesthesia. All three are used in hospitals.
General anesthesia suppresses the central nervous system, causing unconsciousness and complete loss of sensation. Sedation, a milder form of anesthesia typically used in minor surgical procedures, causes relaxation and lowered response to stimulation. Local anesthesia blocks transmission of nerve impulses between a part of the body and the spinal cord, causing loss of sensation in the body part. A patient under local anesthesia remains fully conscious.
Whether anesthesia is administered by a medical doctor or a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), the important thing is that the proper standard of care is maintained. Unfortunately there are numerous instances in which it is not, such as:
- The patient is overdosed or underdosed for his or her body weight and the depth of anesthesia needed. This can cause one of two very serious problems in general anesthesia: the patient may either awaken during a procedure and go into shock, or may fail to awaken after the procedure and become comatose, or die.
- An incomplete medical history is taken, with the result that important information about the patient’s health and allergies is unknown. This can be disastrous if the patient has an allergic reaction to some component of the anesthetic and goes into shock, or has a heart or liver problem made worse by the drug.
- Local anesthetic is administered to the wrong body part, or around the area of the wrong nerve, so that there is no anesthetic effect and the patient suffers severe pain when the procedure begins.
- The anesthetist or CRNA fails to adequately monitor the patient’s vital signs during the procedure, and becomes aware of developing problems only after it is too late to avoid patient injury.
- The anesthetist fails to warn the patient about potential side effects of the anesthetic, causing the patient to unknowingly become susceptible to dizziness, lack of coordination, or falling.
- The anesthetist fails to warn the patient about preoperative eating or drinking, or fails to find out before administering the anesthetic when the patient last ate or drank. A patient put under anesthesia with food or water in the stomach can regurgitate and aspirate.
- The anesthetist fails to check the anesthesia machinery and equipment beforehand, with the result that it fails during the procedure and causes patient injury.
Our team combines legal proficiency with compassionate client service. The suffering that individuals and families go through when a loved one enters a hospital for a simple procedure but emerges comatose or dying because of medical malpractice is what drives us to seek justice and compensation for them.
Fighting Anesthesia Errors
We care deeply about our clients and will be your advocate. To reserve a no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced lawyers, please call 855-444-6651 or fill out our contact form. We have multiple offices conveniently located in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and other areas in Ohio and northern Kentucky.