Anesthesia Errors Do Occur
Even in the best of surgical environments, anesthesia errors
can and do happen. Sometimes this is because of the patient not being forthcoming with their personal medical history, yet other times it is the fault of the anesthesiologist. Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney
that specializes in Medical Malpractice Cases
Although there are always risks associated with the use of anesthesia, usually the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks involved with its use.
Kinds of Anesthesia
- General anesthesia – puts the entire body to sleep usually a combination of I.V. and inhaled substance.
- Local anesthesia – is a topical anesthetic that is applied locally to the area that will need to be numb.
- Spinal anesthesia – is used in the lower back.
According to Wrong Diagnosis, an “Estimated 0.724 anesthesia complications occurred per 1,000 surgical discharges in the US 2000.”
Anesthesia Risks and Complications
Different risks and complications can occur when an anesthesia is used during a surgical procedure. The most common anesthesia complications are:
- Sore throat (from the tube)
- Allergies or hypersensitivity to the anesthetic
- Muscle pain/stiffness
- Joint pain
- Puncture headache
These common complications are usually minor and will go away rather quickly during your recovery from surgery.
If these symptoms seem to be lasting longer than expected, bring them to the attention of your doctor.
Serious complications/risks are unlikely, but do sometimes occur including:
- Malignant hyperthermia
- Inability to metabolize the drug succinylcholine used in sedation
In a perfect world, there would be no errors during surgery, or complications from the use of anesthesia. But surgical errors and anesthetic errors do occur and they have an effect on the patient.
To protect yourself as a patient, know the following:
- Your medical history, including an known allergies
- Your past reactions to anesthesia
- Your blood relatives reactions to anesthesia
- Share this information not only with your doctor but with the anesthesiologist prior to your surgery
- Request an experienced anesthesiologist
- Persons who are very ill
- Extremely young patients
- Cardiac patients
- Brain injury patients
- Patients with liver damage
Although rare, serious complications, including death, should never occur during the safe use of anesthesia.
Experiencing such a reaction or having an anesthesia injury may be considered medical malpractice.
If you or a loved one has had a severe reaction and/or death from the use of anesthesia, fill out this short questionnaire and get connected to experienced medical malpractice or accident attorneys
in your area who can explain your legal rights and options.