Understanding Anesthesia Medication Errors
Any time you’re undergoing a medical procedure that could involve pain, your doctor will likely recommend a form of anesthesia, which consists of administering a medication designed to prevent you from feeling pain. There are three main types of anesthesia: local, regional, and general.
Local anesthesia is confined to a small area of the body, and patients remain awake and alert under this form of anesthesia. If you’ve ever had a root canal or had a mole removed, you may have received local anesthesia. Regional anesthesia is similar, but it covers a larger area of the body. Procedures like a minor hand surgery might rely on regional anesthesia. Another example is an epidural injection during labor.
Finally, general anesthesia renders you unconscious for the duration of a major operation, such as heart surgery or hip replacement. A trained medical professional must always administer anesthesia, but in the case of general anesthesia, a specialist, such as an anesthesiologist, is required.
The anesthesiologist not only administers general anesthesia via mask or IV but is tasked with monitoring the patient during and after administration to ensure health and safety. Unfortunately, even meticulous professionals can make mistakes, and when (anesthesia) medication errors occur, they can be serious, if not deadly.
How the Use of Anesthesia Can Lead to Medical Malpractice
What kinds of errors can occur when anesthesia is used? Common snafus include:
- Administering too little anesthesia
- Administering too much anesthesia
- Administering the wrong anesthesia
- Administering anesthesia despite a known patient allergy
- Administering anesthesia that adversely interacts with another medication
- Improper intubation
- Error in the administration of oxygen while a patient is anesthetized
- Failure to properly monitor vital signs while a patient is anesthetized
- Delay in administering anesthesia
- and more
When such mistakes occur, patients may experience pain symptoms or anesthesia awareness or even fully awaken during surgery; they might suffer allergic or adverse medical reactions; or they could stop breathing, suffer a lack of oxygen to the brain, or even die. Errors become medical malpractice when they lead to life-threatening injuries like brain damage, stroke, heart attack, lung collapse, and more, as well as death.
The administration of anesthesia in the operating room is a complex process that includes more than 40 steps, which creates a lot of opportunity for (anesthesia) medication errors to occur, even with trained and experienced doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists at the helm. When life-threatening mistakes occur, patients have recourse, as do families of deceased patients. A qualified medical malpractice attorney can help you to determine if negligence or malpractice contributed to injuries and if you have a case.
Proven Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Medical malpractice cases are extremely complex, and you need a law firm that has the expertise to guide you through the process, aggressively pursue justice on your behalf, and ensure the best outcome. Extensive knowledge of both the law and medical practice is required to successfully litigate medical malpractice cases involving (anesthesia) medication errors and secure maximum compensation for injuries.
The qualified team at The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. not only has the expertise to pursue your medical malpractice case but offers a proven track record of wins, having recovered over $100 million for clients and counting. If you believe you’ve been the victim of (anesthesia) medication errors, contact our caring and capable attorneys now at 310-289-2600 or online to schedule your free initial consultation.