Anesthesia is a necessary risk when it comes to surgical procedures. When you need serious surgery, you are entrusting your life to the anesthesiologist. These trained medical professionals are responsible for safely administering anesthesia in the proper amounts, and monitoring patients during the procedure.
Prior to administering anesthesia, these medical professionals will have reviewed your medical history, looked at any medications you currently take, and reviewed any allergies you may have in an effort to provide the safest way to administer the correct drugs.
When errors occur during the anesthesia process, negligence may be a factor. These professionals owe patients a standard of care. When that standard of care is not met and the errors cause injury, compensation may be pursued under New Jersey Law.
Medical malpractice can occur during any stage of the anesthesia process. During the review of your medical history, the anesthesiologist may have missed factors that contributed to your injuries. Similarly, the doctor may have overlooked a contraindication due to a medication you're currently taking.
Here are the most common factors that lead to negligence:
- Dosage Errors
- Delayed Delivery
- Prolonged Sedation
- Faulty Monitoring Equipment
- Failure to Intubate
When an injury is caused by a deviation from the proper standard of care, those at fault may be held accountable. Common injuries caused by anesthesia malpractice include heart attacks, stroke, damage to the trachea, and even death.
Types of Anesthesia
There are several types of anesthesia available, and which is administered depends on a number of factors.
- General Anesthesia - This type of anesthesia is a combination of medications that induces a sleep-like state. Patients under general anesthesia do not feel pain as they're unconscious. This state does pose dangers to the patient such as aspiration (liquid becomes stuck in the airway) for which a breathing tube may be used. These tubes can cause problems of their own including damage to the throat and voice box. General anesthesia can also increase blood pressure and heart rate.
- Local Anesthesia - In small doses, local anesthesia is usually safe. However, when administered in larger doses it can be absorbed into the bloodstream and cause systemic toxicity. This toxicity can cause problems with breathing, blood pressure, and other side effects.
- Regional Anesthesia - This type of anesthesia is administered either at the spinal cord or into a cluster of nerves. Like other types of anesthesia, there are risks involved like toxicity, pulmonary issues, and infections.
How We Can Help
If you or a family member has been injured or died due to an anesthesia error, you may be able to seek compensation for damages. At The Reinartz Law Firm, we focus on medical malpractice cases and will aggressively fight on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation.