Patients who are undergoing a major medical procedure are put under anesthesia. If incorrectly performed, the results can be catastrophic. Since the patient is helpless while under anesthesia, they must place complete trust in the physician and hospital staff that they will administer the drug appropriately and monitor his or her status. While most surgeries performed while the patient is under anesthesia do not have any ill-effects, when an anesthesiologist does make a mistake, the injury can be serious and even result in death.
In many cases, negligent anesthesia care can in instances where patients do not wake up after surgery. Such negligence can include improperly positioned patients, poor monitoring, and the failure to adjust anesthesia and oxygen levels. Irreparable brain damage and other serious injuries can result.
The anesthesiologist’s role in surgery beings before an operation starts. Patients are evaluated, pre-operative data is confirmed, and operative plans are recorded. Clear and concise communication between the anesthesiologist, nurses, surgeon, and patient is required. Additionally, failing to perform a final patient assessment for tolerance to anesthesia can result in devastating injuries, complications, and side effects due to improper administration during the procedure.
During the procedure, anesthesiologists will often use a general anesthetic. This allows the patient to enter an unconscious or semi-conscious state without any pain. However, errors can be made for a number of reasons but most are the result of professional negligence. Such errors include:
- Anesthesia dosage errors
- Delay in the delivery of anesthesia
- Failure to intubate
- Causing injury during intubation
- Improper monitoring of the patient
- Failing to recognize complications
- Allowing the patient to go unattended
- Turning off the pulse oximeter alarm
- Administering oxygen improperly or negligently
- Allowing oxygen to be too close to hot surgical equipment
- Use of drugs or alcohol by the attending medial provider
- Communication errors
- Dangerously prolonged sedation
- Defective equipment
Injuries that result from anesthesia errors include:
- Lack of adequate oxygen supply (asphyxia)
- Birth defects
- Loss of bodily function
- Intubation errors resulting in tracheal damage or injury to surrounding areas
- Cardiovascular injury
- Brain damage
- Spinal cord injury
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a result of an anesthesia error, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your case.
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