When patients undergo a surgical procedure, the anesthesiologist will often use general anesthetic which allows the patient to enter an unconscious or semi-conscious state and be without pain during the procedure. Anesthesia requires skill to administer and can pose a serious risk to the patient. Anesthesiologists, like other health care professionals, have a duty of care to the patients whom they treat. They must comply with the standards of care for their profession. When an error is made by anesthesiologists, and it could have been prevented, the medical provider responsible can be held liable for the patient’s injuries under medical malpractice.
During medical procedures, the use of local anesthesia is used to numb the necessary section of the body. This type of anesthesia is used most often during Caesarean sections, ophthalmological, podiatric, and oral surgeries. There are some cases where local anesthetics combined with general anesthesia so that the desired impact on the patient is achieved.
Cases of allergic reactions to certain anesthesia, though rare, do occur. The range of cases of allergic reactions that occur are 1 in 5,000 to 25,000. However, they are a very serious problem, as it can be difficult for a doctor to see the warning signs of an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can include irritation, severe injury, or death. Before the commencement of the surgery, the anesthesiologist should ask the patient if they have any known allergies to certain anesthetics. If an allergic reaction does occur, the anesthesiologist is responsible for taking care to minimize any potential damage.
Patients with allergies to other drugs, pollen, and/or seasonal allergies have a higher likelihood of being allergic to something else. A patient who believes that they may be allergic to an anesthetic agent should think about their reactions to the agent carefully and provide the anesthetist all of this information. The anesthetist will then try to avoid using those agents. If the agent is necessary, s/he will give the patient other drugs in an attempt to control the body’s response and hopefully prevent a severe reaction.
If you or a loved one has experienced a severe allergic reaction to an anesthetic agent due to the negligence of an anesthesiologist, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
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