Before undergoing most surgeries, patients are anesthetized to avoid awareness of what is going on and feeling pain. Anesthesia typically induces unconsciousness, loss of memory, muscle relaxation, and stops pain signals from reaching the brain. Anesthesia is an integral part of modern medicine.
However, significant complications can develop from the use of anesthesia. In worst-case scenarios, it can lead to death. Suppose an anesthesiologist doesn’t provide competent medical care, and their negligence causes injuries, as a patient or family member. In that case, you have a legal right to hold them accountable for your pain and suffering.
If you were subject to an anesthesia error, you might be unsure about who’s responsible. Is it the hospital or surgery center, the surgeon, the medical staff, or just the anesthesiologist? These are valid questions, and our well-versed Palm Beach anesthesia error lawyers can provide you with the answers.
An anesthesiologist should recommend the best course of anesthesia for a patient on a case-by-case basis. They should consider the type of procedure being done, the age and health of the patient, any reactions or problems with previous anesthesia, and the patient’s preferences. For instance, general anesthesia is recommended if the surgery takes a while or impacts your breathing.
Different types of anesthesia can be administered to patients:
General anesthesia is the most extensive type of anesthesia as it places the patient into an unconscious state. It suppresses the central nervous system, resulting in a complete lack of awareness and sensation.
Also called local anesthesia, this type of anesthesia is reserved for isolated body parts. With regional anesthesia, the patient often remains conscious but won’t experience pain in the affected body part. They may feel pressure, however. Regional anesthesia can also be used in conjunction with general anesthesia.
Sedation is a lighter type of general anesthesia. It still suppresses the central nervous system but doesn’t place the patient into an entirely unconscious state.
How Do Anesthesia Errors Happen?
Anesthesia errors typically occur due to a lack of oversight and disorganization. For example, different medical professionals sometimes use different methods to measure the amount of anesthesia medication administered to each patient. To prevent this problem, many healthcare facilities are revisiting their safety protocols, improving medical technology, and changing the overall process for administering anesthesia to their patients. However prudent, it’s not enough.
Here are the most frequent anesthesia errors that occur in Florida:
- Wrong dosage: Giving either too little or too much anesthesia. Too much anesthesia medication may result in death, brain damage, or other organ damage. Too little anesthesia can cause the patient to feel pain or regain awareness on the operating table– known commonly as “anesthesia awareness.” Patients who wake up during surgery might interfere with their surgery or suffer psychological trauma after it’s over.
- Failure to monitor the patient: Suppose someone under general anesthesia can’t move a body part if it’s in a bad position. In that case, it’s the medical team’s job to use proper surgical positioning to keep the patient from sustaining nerve damage. The anesthesiologist, in particular, must continuously monitor the patient’s breathing, circulation, and other vital body functions throughout the surgery to ensure the patient isn’t in danger.
- Failure to recognize an allergic reaction: An anesthesiologist must be aware of a patient’s medical history, ensuring that the patient isn’t allergic to any medications they might administer. If the patient is allergic, their system can go into shock, leading to organ damage or death unless treated immediately. Even still, the patient might have lifelong internal damage.
- Defective equipment. Smooth gas delivery is vitally essential during surgery. Any defects with the oxygen concentration, endotracheal tubes, the volume of anesthetic gases and vapors, or pressures in the breathing or ventilation system can quickly result in serious injury or death to a patient.
- Miscommunications: Poor communication between your anesthesiologist and other medical professionals could result in errors. Every staff member involved with your surgery should have clear and concise instructions. If they haven’t received such instructions, they should ask.
- Accidental administration of residual anesthetics: Stopcocks are small plastic devices used to direct the flow of fluid from an IV line; essentially, they are valves and other types of switches. If not monitored and cleaned, built-up residue in the stopcocks can be administered to a patient, causing an overdose or infection.
- Insufficient pain management after surgery: Pain medication must be administered to a patient immediately after surgery to not cause untoward side effects with the anesthesia.
- Uncontrolled IV flow: The flow of anesthesia from the IV must be carefully monitored since too much flow may cause health problems. At the same time, too little may be an insufficient dose for the patient.
Consequences of Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia injuries resulting from errors can vary from mild to severe. Injuries will depend on the type of error and can affect anything from the heart to the brain as well as other organs. Anesthesia errors include:
- Allergic reaction
- Brain damage
- Blood clots
- Heart attack
- Anesthesia awareness (waking up from anesthesia during surgery)
Patients with anesthesia allergies could suffer brain damage, organ failure, or even wrongful death. Milder cases may include instances of blurred vision, fatigue, and confusion, and other symptoms. Because any anesthesia negligence will happen behind the closed doors of the operating room, families are often kept unaware of the actual cause of a loved one’s “bad turn” during surgery or afterward. That’s why it is essential to work with an experienced Palm Beach County anesthesia error lawyer to uncover the truth of any injury incurred during an operation. If anesthesia errors were made, we can spot them and work to get you compensation.
Who is Liable When an Anesthesia Error Occurs?
Several different parties could be liable in an anesthesia error claim, depending on the details of the specific case. Failing to record the information given by a patient accurately and not communicating this information to the other staff members can cause anesthesia errors that result in injuries.
Multiple individuals must communicate when preparing an individual for surgery, including physicians, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other hospital staff members. Each of them could be partly liable in the event of an anesthesia injury. However, you don’t have to get to the bottom of what caused your anesthesia error. When you hire a well-versed Palm Beach County anesthesia error lawyer from the Iscoe Law Firm, we will investigate the circumstances surrounding your injuries and find out who is liable.
Contact a Reputable Palm Beach County Anesthesia Error Lawyer
Anesthesia is an integral part of surgery, but you shouldn’t suffer lifelong injuries due to errors made by an anesthesiologist or another medical provider. If you experienced an injury because of an anesthesia error, you deserve compensation for your damages. No one should find themselves under financial strain because of a hospital’s or anesthesiologist’s careless mistake. These complications can lead to insurmountable medical expenses, lost income and wages, and other types of losses. We will negotiate on your behalf to fight for the justice you deserve.
If you or someone you know may have been injured due to an anesthesia error, give the Iscoe Law Firm a call today. Our reputable firm has access to the necessary medical experts who can determine whether your injury was caused by negligence.
Our experienced Palm Beach anesthesia error lawyers can help get you the most compensation possible. Call us today at 800 800-6500 for a no-charge initial consultation with a skilled Palm Beach County anesthesia error attorney. We are available to take your call 24/7, 365 days a year.