Medical Malpractice: Anesthesia Errors
When you’re undergoing major surgery, there are a number of pieces that must fall into place perfectly in order for that procedure to be successful: the physicians treating you must have selected the appropriate procedure, you must be in sufficiently good health to recover from the procedure, and everyone in the operating room must do their job to the best of their ability. When even one component of a surgery goes wrong, you could suffer serious health consequences. Among the important roles in the operating room is that of an anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist is there to ensure that you remain relaxed, pain-free and, if necessary, unconscious during the length of the surgery. If anesthesia is administered incorrectly, or the doctor fails to continue to monitor your vital signs throughout the procedure, you could face serious or even fatal injuries.
Administering anesthesia must be done with the utmost care
The anesthesiologist has a more complex task than it might seem at first glance. When a patient is to receive general anesthesia, making them entirely unconscious during a procedure, the doctor must administer a series of drugs that each have a different purpose. These drugs include:
- Relaxants, to soften the patient’s muscles so that surgeons can access the area requiring surgery;
- Analgesics, to prevent the patient from feeling pain during the procedure; and
- Hypnotics, to keep the patient unconscious throughout the procedure.
These drugs must be administered in perfect quantities. If, for example, too little of the drug causing unconsciousness is administered, the patient could wake up during surgery, but if too much is administered, the patient could experience long-term effects, even brain damage. Too little of the analgesic could allow a patient to feel pain but be unable to notify the doctor due to the effect of the other drugs.
Anesthesia errors can have serious consequences
When an anesthesiologist fails to carry out their legal duty to provide adequate medical care before or during a surgical procedure, you could face serious health consequences. At Lee & Fairman, our Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys are experienced in handling claims for anesthesia errors. Let us help you assess whether you may have a claim for money damages after you or a loved one suffers a serious or fatal injury as the result of an anesthesia error.
- Anesthesia errors can result in injuries such as:
- Brain damage due to a lack of oxygen
- Esophageal injuries or chipped teeth due to intubation errors
- Wrongful death
- Emotional distress6
- Pain and suffering
Find out if you have a legal claim for damages
You may be owed money damages if you have suffered an anesthesia error in an Indiana hospital or medical clinic. To discuss a possible lawsuit for medical malpractice, contact the Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Lee & Fairman for a consultation on your case, at 317-631-5151.