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What’s Complicated about Anesthesia

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Walner Law®

March 23, 2014

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Anesthesia is often a saving grace when you go in for surgery. Anesthesia can make surgeries, procedures, and childbirth easier to endure. However, it is very important your anesthesia is attentively administered. Anesthesia complications may cause serious injury or even death. An overwhelming majority of anesthesia errors are human errors.

Typical errors include:

  • Improper patient evaluation. Patients may be allergic to certain types of anesthesia. A thorough medical history can prevent avoidable anesthesia complications.
  • Failure to monitor vitals. It is critical that a patient’s vitals are monitored once he or she is administered anesthesia. An adverse reaction to the anesthesia often is revealed by a distressed heart rate, blood pressure, and/or blood oxygen levels and requires immediate attention.
  • Unfamiliarity with the Anesthetic. There are various types of anesthetics. The medical professional needs to know the risks and complications associated with the anesthetic he or she is administering.
  • Cutting corners. Anesthesia is now administered for most surgeries. In fact, it is administered to patients about 40 million times per year. Medical professionals who do a thing so often may cut out important steps in order to save time.

Anesthesia errors can cause serious injury. There are three primary types of anesthesia: general anesthesia, regional anesthesia (e.g. epidural), and local anesthesia. A patient who receives general or regional anesthesia is most at risk when an error occurs. Common risks include:

General anesthesia-

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Muscle disease
  • Vocal cord injury
  • Temporary disorientation / mental confusion
  • Psychological trauma upon waking during surgery.

Regional anesthesia (e.g. epidural)-

  • Meningitis
  • Nerve damage
  • Seizures
  • Severe headaches
  • Difficulty urinating

Anesthesia complications can happen at a hospital, a birthing center, a doctor’s office, an ambulatory surgical center, or a dentist’s office. The professional who administers the anesthesia has a duty to provide you with safe care and to take every precaution to protect you from an avoidable anesthesia complication.

At Walner Law, we care about your care. If you experienced sub-standard or negligent care and were injured as a result, call us today. We will work to make sure the right people are held accountable for your medical malpractice injury!

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