Did you know that one of the most dangerous aspects of surgery is the anesthesia administered to the patient? Anesthesia errors can cause a wide range of negative results in a patient, from dizziness to death.
Anesthesia errors can cause serious medical problems. Understanding what anesthesia is as well as common mistakes made with anesthesia can help you avoid them in your child. If you feel that your child is the victim of an anesthesia error, your family might be entitled to compensation for their injuries. If this is the case, this page can help you figure out the next course of action that you should take.
What is Anesthesia?
Anesthesia is a medically induced state that causes a combination of these symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness.
- Decreased stress.
- Inability to experience pain.
- Decline in skeletal muscle reflexes.
Obviously, the purpose of anesthesia is to prevent patients going into a physically traumatic experience from feeling pain or even remembering that experience. In most cases, this means that anesthesia is used before surgery.
Types of Anesthesia
There are many different types of anesthesia, and they are administered based on individual circumstances. Some common types of anesthesia are:
- General anesthesia – which makes the patient unconscious.
- Local anesthesia – which can numb specific body parts/areas.
- Regional anesthesia – this numbs larger parts of the body than local anesthesia can.
- Spinal/epidural anesthesia – injected with a needle near the spinal cord. This type of anesthesia is most commonly used during labor.
Errors When Using Anesthesia
As you can deduce from its symptoms, anesthesia is a powerful substance. If the anesthesiologist is not careful, he or she can cause major damage to the patient. Some errors that can occur as a result of negligence when using anesthesia include:
- Giving too high a dosage of anesthesia.
- Giving too low a dosage of anesthesia.
- Delivering the anesthesia too late.
- Giving anesthesia to a patient that is allergic to it.
- Giving the wrong type of anesthesia.
- Not watching the patient during surgery.
- Failing to give the patient oxygen during surgery.
- Failing to tell the patient what they need to do before they receive anesthesia, for example, not telling patients that they need to limit their liquid or food intake.
- Defective equipment used when giving the anesthesia.
Anesthesia errors can cause issues that range in severity from dizziness and temporary blurred vision to coma or death. So, for example, if your child is a victim of an anesthesia error that resulted in confusion or dizziness, you probably won’t have a medical malpractice case. However, if your child experiences some of the more serious side effects, such as brain damage, heart problems, seizures, or a stroke, you could definitely file a claim and seek compensation for the injuries. If that is the case, you should contact a personal injury lawyer such as myself to help you build a case and get the compensation that your family deserves.
Preventing anesthesia errors is just like trying to prevent anything else. Use your common sense when choosing an anesthesiologist. Most people don’t even bother to meet with their child’s anesthesiologist, but you should definitely take the time to do so if your child is going into surgery. Ask about the anesthesiologist’s past experiences and medical training. Ask if he or she has administered any anesthesia errors in the past. And make sure you alert the anesthesiologist to any allergies that your child has. Keep communication open, and while you can’t guarantee that an error won’t occur, you can probably prevent one from happening.