Legal Options if Anesthesia Mistakes Caused Serious Harm
During any medical procedure, we entrust our safety to seemingly qualified professionals, but if reckless or negligent behavior causes an error with your anesthesia, the results can be disastrous. Kisling, Nestico & Redick can help if you’ve been hurt due to a medical professional’s negligence.
When you have to go under for surgery, you take it for granted that an experienced anesthesiologist will be at the helm. Of all the things you worry over, being unconscious during the procedure is not usually one of them. However, your anesthesiologist, surgeon, nurse or other hospital staff can make mistakes or behave negligently when it comes to your anesthesia. An avoidable mistake can cause serious and irreparable harm.
For any type of medical procedure, you need everything to go as planned. You need the best physicians and nurses on your team. You assume that having well-educated and experienced doctors will decrease the chance of anything going wrong. However, medical errors, including anesthesia mistakes, happen. In fact, medical errors as a whole have become so common that researchers now cite them as the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
If you are injured because of a mistake made with anesthesia, you may have the right to recover compensation from the physician or hospital. Through an Ohio medical malpractice claim, you can show that a physician or another person on the medical staff committed an act or omission that resulted in harm or that the provider negligently hired, trained, or supervised the medical staff.
For more information about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, call Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule an initial consultation.
Common Anesthesia Mistakes
Anesthesia mistakes can be commonly caused by:
Communication errors between physicians
Anesthesia is not only a complex science, some anesthesiologists consider it as a subjective craft. It takes understanding a number of factors about patients, including their gender, age, weight, allergies, and previous experiences with drugs to determine the appropriate medications and dosages. Without thorough communication between physicians, medical staff, and the anesthesiologist, mistakes are likely to be made.
When an anesthesiologist must administer medications to a patient, it is crucial that they know what drugs the patient is already taking. Without this, the doctor may use a medication that could lead to a serious interaction or contradiction.
Failure to properly monitor
When a patient has been administered an anesthetic, they must be closely monitored. More medication will be necessary during a long procedure. Additionally, physicians must keep a close eye on how the patient is reacting to the anesthetic, including monitoring breathing and heart rate.
Failure to intubate when appropriate
Some patients need assistance breathing during a procedure that requires a general anesthetic. This requires intubation. However, anesthesiologists can fail to intubate a patient when necessary or can make a mistake during the process, causing the patient harm.
Providing a patient with too much or too little anesthetic can cause serious medical issues and even death. When a person is in a medically induced unconscious state for too long, they can slip into a coma or suffer a brain injury. If a patient is not given enough medication throughout the procedure, they can regain consciousness and possibly feeling yet not be able to speak or move. This is known an anesthesia awareness.
Improper training or certification
It is possible that a nurse or another technician will administer and anesthesia after having been provided hands-on training but not actually have the proper education or certification.
When Anesthesia Mistakes Can Occur
There are different categories of anesthesia that are used at various times for different purposes: local, regional, and general. A local anesthetic is used when only a small area of tissue is numbed, such as a portion of your mouth for a root canal. Regional anesthesia is used when a larger portion of your body, usually a cluster of specific nerves, is anesthetized. This enables a portion of your body to be operated on while you are awake or sedated. General anesthesia is used when you are made entirely unconscious and unaware of what is going on. This can be induced through medications or gasses. While issues can arise with all types of anesthesia, general anesthesia is where mistakes often have the most significant consequences.
Dangerous mistakes can happen during various times in the anesthesia process: before, during, and after. These errors can cause serious physical injuries if you stop breathing or mental injuries if you begin to wake up and feel or remember the procedure. It is also possible for mistakes to be made after the procedure when you are given medications to help you wake up.
Common Anesthesia Mistake Injuries
When someone makes an anesthesia error, the resulting injuries are often significant, including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Brain damage
- Organ failure
- Cardiovascular issues
- Anesthesia awareness
Filing an Ohio Medical Malpractice Claim
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to an anesthesia mistake, you should speak with an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer from Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away. You might assume that you will file an insurance claim to obtain a settlement. However, almost all medical malpractice claims require filing a lawsuit in order to seek and negotiate an appropriate settlement that includes compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Medical malpractice claims can be complex, which is why it is important to have an attorney experienced with dealing with the medical industry on your side. At KNR, we have the knowledge regarding anesthesia errors and extensive experience litigating these claims necessary for your case to reach a favorable outcome.