Medical Malpractice Claims Involving Anesthesia Injuries
Anesthesia malpractice occurs when an anesthesiologist or a medical professional administering an anesthetic fails to provide the right amount of protection and an injury results.
Anesthesia has become safer in the last few decades, but it is still not without risks, particularly when anesthesiologists, certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), and hospitals place patients at additional risk with preventable medical errors. The use of potent medications, in combination with invasive procedures to protect a patient’s airway and provide pain relief, has serious risks that anesthesiologists must quarrel with. Death is a leading outcome in anesthetic injuries, which underscores the seriousness of the common practice. Nerve injury and airway injury are also quite common injury claims, which can be prevented in many cases.
In the last two decades, claims for anesthesia-related complications have increased significantly. Examples of related medical malpractice may include:
- Administering the wrong dose of anesthetic
- Administering the wrong type of anesthetic
- Failure to put a patient under anesthesia
- Failure to properly manage medications—overdoses
- Failure to address adverse health events prior to surgery
- Failure to instruct the patient on proper surgery preparation
- Improper placing of oxygen tubes: Intubation Error
- Failure to recognize allergies interacting with anesthetic
- Failing to follow hospital guidelines or protocol
Joseph Lyon is an experienced and highly-rated Ohio medical malpractice attorney. The Lyon Firm can assist you in evaluating the medical care you received and assist you in deciding whether formal litigation is appropriate and necessary for you.
Common Risks & Anesthesia Injuries
Very potent medications are sometimes administered to keep a patient comfortable during a procedure. Medication overdose is a common anesthesia-related injury. Drug combinations of benzodiazepines and opioids are involved in many over sedation cases.
Teeth and dental damage is the most common non-threatening complication, associated with airway care during general anesthesia. Difficulties with a patient’s airway is a feared and serious complication for anesthesiologists, with the possibility of death or permanent brain damage.
Other Anesthesia Injuries may include:
- Wrongful death
- Dental Injury
- Nerve Damage
- Respiratory failure
- Permanent Brain Damage
- Spinal Injury
- Cardiovascular events—stroke and heart attack
Further risk factors involve advanced age, obesity, and performing a procedure in a remote location. Newborn death, maternal nerve injuries and brain damage still constitute a large number of injury claims.
Legal Action Following Anesthesia Injuries
Anesthesia malpractice describes when a medical professional fails in their duty to protect a patient at any point during the medical procedure. Informed consent must be provided, and many malpractice cases occur because the patient was not informed that he or she would be subjected to anesthesia before the procedure.
Other cases of malpractice may develop before the surgery takes place with medication errors or defective equipment. Malpractice may occur if the patient is not informed about specific dietary restrictions to be followed before anesthesia is provided. Also, it may develop if the doctor does not review the patient’s medical history or examine the patient to determine how much anesthesia is required.
Malpractice occurs when doctors fail to monitor a patient’s vital signs. The doctor must take a careful look at the patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other critical measurements and adjust to the changes.
It takes courage to challenge a health care provider, and The Lyon Firm can help you find the answers to the many questions that have gone unanswered about anesthesia injuries. Together we can make a difference in your life and the lives of others by making medicine safer. For a no-cost consultation, call Joe Lyon at (800) 513-2403.