Surgery can be scary. There are risks related to the procedure itself but none more so than the use of anesthesia. A patient may suffer anesthesia-related injuries when there are errors made in its administration but many errors occur even after the patient is under anesthesia.
Some of the more common types of anesthesia errors include the administration of the wrong type of anesthesia. Worse yet is when a patient receives too the wrong dose or too much anesthesia or suffers from anesthesia awareness, when the patient is not adequately sedated.
Failure to identify possible complications or other drug interactions can also occur. Usually this is a result of a failure to accurately and fully evaluate the medical history of patient.
There also instances when medical personnel fail to adequately monitor the patient during the surgery which can lead to oxygen deprivation.
The effects of anesthesia errors are quite serious and in the worst case, fatal. The effects can range from dizziness and confusion, blurry vision, seizures, cardiac problems, coma, or even death. However, the results of an anesthesia error may be not be only physical in nature. Many times the results of anesthesia errors are psychological. People who have suffered through anesthesia awareness typically go on to suffer from psychotic problems like anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.
General anesthesia during surgical procedures leaves the patient completely at the mercy of the medical professionals. This makes the patient quite vulnerable. However, there are a few things a patient can do before the surgical procedure to help protect themselves.
First, a patient should ensure that medical personnel are aware of any and all health concerns. Cardiac problems, breathing difficulties, and allergies are only a few of the concerns that factor in to appropriate anesthesia administration.
Second, do your research. On elective or scheduled surgeries, take the time to research the possible anesthesiologists you may be able to elect to help with your procedure. As in selecting your Primary Care Physician, you have the right to select your anesthesiologist. Review the Indiana Patient Compensation Database and investigate the number of prior claims filed against your anesthesiologist. Talk with others who have utilized this doctor for their procedures.
Finally, meet with the doctor who will be administering your anesthesia. Ask about the procedure, the type of anesthesia planned, and any possible health problems. The patient should ensure the doctor is aware of their concerns and ask as many questions as necessary to feel confident that they are in good hands.
Anesthesia administration is an important part of the surgical process and patients will benefit from knowing the possible risks and being proactive in addressing their concerns.
For help understanding whether you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim after an anesthesia error, speak to a medical malpractice lawyer in Indiana. The attorneys at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP, are skilled at reviewing the complicated and technical surgical medical records. Contact them today to see if there is a way they can help you with your potential claim.