Anesthesia is a high-risk, high-reward medical practice. Without safe, effective delivery of anesthesia, which allows people to have surgery without feeling pain, medical advances leading to modern surgery wouldn’t exist. However, if administered improperly to the patient, anesthesia can result in brain damage, stroke, or even death. In addition, inadequate monitoring of the patient or failed equipment during the surgery could also lead to injury or death.
Any errors in the anesthesia process could be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to anesthesia mistakes, contact an anesthesia injury lawyer to learn about your legal options.
An anesthesiologist specializes in pain prevention and control. This doctor is a key surgical team member who is relied upon to prevent the patient from feeling pain and to keep the patient unconscious while monitoring and maintaining the patient’s vital signs.
Most healthy people undergoing surgery won’t have problems with general anesthesia. In fact, patients face a greater chance of complications from surgery than anesthesia, according to one medical study that looked at anesthesia-related deaths in the United States from 1995 to 2005. While many people may have mild, temporary symptoms, general anesthesia itself is normally safe.
Of the 2,211 anesthesia-related deaths in the United States during 1999–2005
The estimated rate from anesthesia-related deaths were 8.2 per one million hospital surgical discharges. The highest death rates were in patients 85 years old and older. Researchers estimated that each year in the U.S., anesthesia/anesthetics are reported as the cause of about 34 deaths and are contributing factors in another 281 deaths.
Some of the factors that can increase your risk of anesthesia complications include existing medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, allergies, and obesity. Additionally, any medical conditions involving your heart, lungs, or kidneys can be problematic for your safely being administered anesthetics. A history of smoking or heavy alcohol usage can also give rise to complications.
Complications that can arise from anesthesia range from slight to severe. For example, some may experience only temporary mental confusion or possibly contract an infection. However, some may suffer something as serious as a stroke, heart attack, or brain injury. It is also possible for improperly administered anesthetics to leave an individual paralyzed or in a coma. In the worst cases, it can even lead to death.
Some of the more common errors leading to anesthesia injury involve direct, improper usage of anesthetics, such as when too much or too little is used or when an anesthetic reacts dangerously with another drug being used on the patient. Anesthesiologists can also err by failing to properly monitor the patient’s oxygen level during surgery. Not only is failure to properly monitor a patient during anesthesia a problem, the failure to quickly recognize and correct a mistake is also a common fault of anesthesiologists and their surgical teams. However, it is not always a mistake of the medical team that causes a complication – errors can also be caused by some systematic or manufacturer mistakes, such as improper labeling of drugs or defective equipment being used to administer the anesthetic or monitor the patient.
Anesthesia injury litigation can be highly complex. It involves a technical medical field, and myriad factors may have played a role in the mistake and subsequent injury. There could be many possible defendants, including the anesthesiologist, surgeon, surgical team, hospital, manufacturer of the anesthesia, and manufacturer(s) of the equipment used to administer the anesthesia and monitor the patient.
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious anesthesia injury, you need the legal representation of an experienced Connecticut anesthesia injury lawyer who knows how to aggressively and effectively represent their clients so that they can obtain the best recovery possible. Given how many medical and legal issues could be involved, trying to settle your case by yourself could do serious harm to your ability to obtain fair compensation for your injuries.
If you or a loved one has experienced problems as a result of improperly administered anesthesia, the malpractice lawyers in CT at Berkowitz Hanna are ready to help you recover the damages you deserve. Contact us today to get started.