Anesthesia: A Deadly Dose of Reality

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the medical profession made great leaps in the development of anesthesia medical practices.  As you know, administering anesthesia to surgical patients today involves delivering drugs and gases to patients so that pain is blocked, muscles relaxed, and patient’s memories never record the surgical event.

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys are always amazed at what anesthesiologists can do.  Their work allows for patient cures that would otherwise be unavailable or impractical.  Patients experience less infections and more positive outcomes.

With that said, mistakes are still made.  Not just any mistake, but an anesthesia error that which should not have happened given the applicable standards of the profession. 

Common injuries that which result from negligent anesthesia administration are death, nerve damage, tissue damage, strokes, comas, brain damage, cardiac arrest, and temporary or permanent loss of sight and or hearing.  More pain can be experienced even though pain is exactly what was trying to be avoided.  This happens when not enough anesthesia has been administered

Too little anesthesia can cause the patient to wake up before the surgery is complete.  The patient may be conscious of the entire surgical event, experiencing all the pain that was supposed to be avoided.

I am sure you can imagine the emotional harm that can result as well.  Post traumatic stress disorder can result, as can depression, anxiety, and a number of other emotional issues.     

Given the advanced state of anesthesiology, why do these harmful injuries occur?  Common causes of this type of malpractice are rushing through the anesthesia administration, not looking at the patient’s history or medical records thoroughly, failing to account for weight discrepancies or changes, being unaware of the patient’s prescriptions, and the like.  You should also understand that anesthesia as a science is not completely understood; many mysteries still exist. 

What types of procedures require general anesthesia?  Generally speaking, any procedure that which will invade a person’s body with scalpels or the like, as well as dental procedures where teeth are extracted or repaired, the patient will require anesthesia. 

Appendectomies, cardiac surgeries, gall bladder removal, wisdom teeth extraction, tonsillectomies, hip replacement surgery, various back surgeries, plastic surgery, gastric bypass procedures, bone repair surgeries, and the list can go on and on. 

How do you know if the anesthesiologist committed malpractice?  This is a very difficult question to answer.  Sometimes it will be hard for the patient to know at all.  But if the patient has a suspicion that something wrong was done, an experienced attorney can help investigate the matter.   Other times the error is glaringly obvious, such as when the patient woke up during the procedure or when pain was experienced throughout the surgery. 

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected]  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com

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