Anesthesia makes surgeries possible. Yet sometimes it is the anesthesia that causes the harms. Anesthesia errors in the operating room can lead to major physical, cognitive, and psychological harms. Patients may suffer anesthesia awareness, brain hypoxia (lack of oxygen), permanent injury, or death. Negligent anesthesiologists, lack of training, and defective equipment can all cause anesthesia errors and subsequent harms. In the aftermath of this type of medical malpractice, come to the medical malpractice attorneys at Anapol Weiss for reliable legal advice.
Types of Anesthesia Errors and Complications
An anesthesiologist can commit medical malpractice by failing to investigate the patient’s medical history for potential complications. For example, older adults may be at an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, or pneumonia after anesthesia. It is an anesthesiologist’s job to analyze these factors and alter treatment accordingly.
Another mistake an anesthesiologist can make is failing to inform patients of the risks involved if they do not follow preoperative instructions, such as not eating for a period of time beforehand. Possible complications from anesthesia errors include:
- Postoperative pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Temporary mental confusion
- Tooth, throat, or larynx damage resulting from intubation
- Allergic reaction to the anesthesia
- Respiratory problems
- Brain damage from lack of oxygen
- Stroke or heart attack
- Nerve injury
- Blood clots
Anesthesia awareness can also occur because of anesthesia errors. This means the patient regains consciousness during the operation. In some cases, a patient can hear, see, and/or feel what is going on in the operating room without being able to move or talk. These experiences can be highly traumatic and lead to psychological damages – if the patient survives. It is possible to recover compensation for emotional distress and mental anguish in Pennsylvania. The only damage cap that exists in the state is for punitive damages.
Patients may have lasting repercussions from an anesthesia error, such as brain damage and cognitive difficulties. Sometimes negative effects from anesthesia mistakes don’t surface for weeks or even months after surgery. The list of possible anesthesia error complications is long and serious. Suffering any of these issues because of someone else’s negligence may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Negligence and Anesthesia Errors
An anesthesiologist’s job is complex and multifaceted. Even an experienced professional cannot predict a patient’s exact reaction to anesthesia. Administering anesthesia requires an investigation into the patient’s medical history, constant vital sign monitoring, and small adjustments during the procedure as necessary. An anesthesiologist must be vigilant during a surgery to detect and prevent issues. Even the smallest distraction or moment of carelessness can lead to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.
With more than 40 years of personal injury and medical malpractice experience, the attorneys at Anapol Weiss have represented many clients in surgical error cases, including those involving anesthesia mistakes. Often, these mistakes stem from negligence or incompetence on the anesthesiologist’s part. For example, an anesthesiologist may administer too little or too much anesthesia. Too little can lead to anesthesia awareness, while too much can lead to asphyxia, nerve damage, brain damage, heart problems, seizures, coma, and death. No mistake is minor when it comes to anesthesia.
Why You Need a Malpractice Lawyer in Philadelphia
If you or a loved one has been the victim of anesthesia errors in Philadelphia, contact Anapol Weiss. You need experienced and skillful attorneys to go up against anesthesiologists, hospitals, and/or insurance companies in these cases. Our medical malpractice lawyers have recovered billions of dollars in settlements and judgments, and we can help you pursue compensation in or out of the courtroom. Anesthesia errors are serious and deserve the attention of a committed local law firm. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, call (866) 735-2792.