Anesthesia Error

Anesthesia ErrorAnesthesia Error

What Is an Anesthesia Error?

One of the most important jobs in an operating room is that of the anesthesiologist. They administer anesthesia, monitor the patient, and ensure that all goes well. When the physician anesthesiologist or assistants fail to provide proper medical treatment, this error – which could be classified as medical malpractice – can lead to brain injury, severe and permanent health issues, or death.

Some of the mistakes that an anesthesiologist or members of their team could make include:

  • Administering too much anesthesia.
  • Not administering enough anesthesia.
  • Misuse of anesthesia.
  • Delayed delivery of anesthesia.
  • Using defective equipment.
  • Failing to monitor the patient’s vital signs during procedure.
  • Improperly intubating the patient.
  • Failing to learn the patient’s medical history.
  • Improper preop assessment of the patient.
  • Failing to inform the patient of risk.
  • Administering improper anesthesia based on drug interactions.

The physician anesthesiologist has critical responsibilities and interactions with the patient before, during, and after a surgery or procedure. During preop evaluation, the patient’s current health, weight, medical history, and other factors are taken into consideration. This information allows the doctor to make judgments about the safest and most effective course of anesthesia, and design and implement a plan for each individual patient to usher them through their surgery or procedure.

Anesthesiologists also provide anesthesia for regional anesthetics – where a portion of the body is made numb, such as during an epidural in the labor and delivery room – or are called upon to provide sedation to relieve pain or anxiety.

Anesthesiologists provide continuous pain relief and sustain patients’ critical life functions. When a mistake is made with anesthesia, the results can be catastrophic.

Who Delivers Anesthesia?

Only a qualified physician anesthesiologist should deliver anesthesia in a surgical environment. This is a medical position that requires extensive education, residency, and medical training. Some anesthesiologists complete specialty training in areas like pediatric anesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, cardiac anesthesia, or pain management.

Non-physician anesthesiologists include anesthesiology assistants and nurse anesthetists. These professionals do not complete extensive post-graduate education but they are required to have a bachelor’s degree, achieve a certain level of experience, and pass certification exams before they can work in the field of anesthesia.

Nurses and assistants are typically under the supervision of a physician anesthesiologist or other physician. They can participate in the administration of anesthesia or may be responsible for monitoring the patient or doing other tasks as needed. Their assistance is valuable, but the physician anesthesiologist remains the medical provider who takes overall responsibility for the patient’s well-being.

What Can Happen When There Is an Anesthesia Error?

The consequences of an anesthesia error can be severe and often irreversible. Physical or mental damage or both can result from an anesthesia error, including:

  • Fluid in the lungs.
  • Brain damage.
  • Hypoxia.
  • Spinal cord injury.
  • Heart attack.
  • Paralysis.
  • Death.

An inadequate supply of oxygen can cause brain death and organs can suffer. Anesthesia improperly delivered during labor and delivery could cause the unborn baby to suffer a birth injury. Mild problems could also be a result of anesthesia error, such as confusion, blurred vision, or ringing in the ears.

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

Poorly administered or incorrect anesthesia can alter a person for life, change the course of their future, and impact their family. If you or a loved one have suffered because of an anesthetic error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from the medical staff or hospital who failed you.

Thurswell Law can represent your family to negotiate a settlement or take your case to court. For decades, our attorneys have helped victims of medical malpractice and anesthesia errors secure the financial compensation they need to afford medical bills and ease their pain and suffering. Call Thurswell today for a free consultation.

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Southfield, MI 48075

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