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When you go in for a surgery, whether major or minor, you know that there are risks. You may be nervous, but usually you choose to put trust in your surgeon and doctors. The last thing you expect is for something to go wrong.

There are teams of doctors and nurses with you when you undergo a major medical procedure, all doing their part to ensure a successful outcome. One of the most important jobs falls to the anesthesiologist, the doctor who delivers the anesthesia. That person is meant to ensure that your procedure is as pain-free and safe as possible. They also have a huge responsibility, as anesthesia can cause severe complications.

There are a few types of anesthesia that we will talk about in this article. If you believe you or a loved one have been harmed by the administration of anesthesia, you can call The Weitz Firm today. We will provide you with an anesthesia malpractice attorney in Philadelphia who will work to secure compensation for you.

Why Use Anesthesia

Most modern medical procedures could not be done without the use of anesthesia. There are three kinds that you may be aware of:

  1. Local anesthesia is used to numb a particular part of the body so it can be operated on. This type does not put you to sleep.
  2. Regional anesthesia is used to block pain to a larger area of the body. A common form of regional anesthesia is the use of an epidural during childbirth.
  3. General anesthesia is the kind most people think of when they think of surgery and involves putting a patient to sleep during a procedure.

All three of these methods are widely used and they all require a trained anesthesiologist and support staff.

We now know that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. That is scary, especially when you consider that the following were found to be common causes of anesthesia complications: overdoes of anesthetics, complications of anesthesia during pregnancy, and adverse effects of anesthesia in therapeutic use.

Commonly, doctors fail to properly diagnose conditions patients have that may complicate the use of anesthesia. Doctors need to be aware of patient risk factors and properly explain these to the patient before an operation.

FAQs for Anesthesia Malpractice Attorneys Philadelphia

Medical practitioners call anesthesia “freedom from pain.” While administering this colorless and odorless medication does alleviate pain, it is not uncommon for unsuspecting and traumatized patients to be hurt by anesthesia errors.

Each year, millions of Americans undergo surgery or other types of medical treatment requiring anesthesia. Unfortunately, thousands of them end up with physical or mental damage caused by anesthesia negligence.

When anesthesia was administered negligently – due to giving the wrong dosage, intubating the patient incorrectly, failing to monitor the patient accurately, failing to recognize and respond to anesthesia-related complications, or another error – the patient may be entitled to pursue a medical malpractice claim.

However, doing so often requires legal assistance from a Philadelphia anesthesia malpractice attorney.

What Are the Risks of Administering Anesthesia?

When administered by a qualified, competent, and attentive anesthesiologist, anesthesia carries little to no risks. However, any medical procedure can go wrong, and there are certain risks associated with administering anesthesia.

Although there is always a risk of suffering injury from an anesthesia error, your doctor must take all precautions to prevent mistakes from occurring. It is vital to consult with your anesthesiologist about the risks prior to the procedure.

Does the Anesthesiologist Have to Stay with You Throughout the Surgery?

Yes, anesthesiologists are required to monitor the patient after administering anesthesia throughout the entire surgery or another medical procedure requiring the medication to alleviate pain.

The main duty of the anesthesiologist is to monitor the patient’s vital functions and organs and modify the anesthetic and the dosage to ensure the patient’s safety and comfort.

Failing to monitor the patient after administering anesthesia is considered medical malpractice if the patient ends up suffering harm as a result of that failure.

What Happens When an Anesthesiologist Makes a Mistake?

The consequences of anesthesia malpractice can be devastating and, in some cases, even fatal. An anesthesia error can lead to both physical and mental damage:

  • Spinal cord injury;
  • Brain injury;
  • Hypoxia;
  • Heart attack;
  • Fluid in the lungs;
  • Organ failure;
  • Collapsed lung;
  • Coma;
  • Paralysis; and
  • Death

One of the most common consequences of administering the wrong dosage of anesthesia or making another error when administering this medication is an inadequate supply of oxygen, which can cause brain damage and hurt vital organs.

When anesthesia is administered negligently during labor and delivery, the unborn baby could suffer a birth injury.

What Are the Most Common Examples of Anesthesia Errors?

Besides the above-mentioned wrong dosage administration, there are many other examples of anesthesia errors:

  • Failing to intubate the patient properly;
  • Failing to monitor the patient’s condition and vital functions after administering anesthesia;
  • Failure to set up monitoring equipment properly;
  • Failure to ensure that the patient is in the proper position (which could potentially cause a surgical positioning injury);
  • Failing to prevent the so-called “anesthesia awareness” when the patient wakes up in the middle of the surgery;
  • Failing to provide high-quality post-op care; and
  • Failure to resuscitate.

A preventable anesthesia error can alter a person’s life forever and impact his or her family. If there has been an anesthesia error that caused harm to you or your loved one, you may be able to pursue monetary compensation from the negligent anesthesiologist, surgeon, or another medical professional who made the mistake.

What To Do Now

If you or a loved one have suffered because of an error with anesthesia, then seek legal assistance now. We know that you may be suffering physically and emotionally, but we do not want you to suffer financially because of a mistake someone else mad. At the Weitz Firm, we will work tirelessly to recover compensation for your injuries. We want to make sure you can cover your medical expenses. If you have had to miss work because of this, we will work to recover lost income as well. When you need a Philadelphia anesthesia malpractice attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 267-587-6240.

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