Knowledgeable Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Hyatt & Weber Hold Negligent Doctors Responsible for Anesthesia Errors
The term anesthesia refers to a temporary, medically induced state that causes any combination of amnesia, inability to feel pain, loss of skeletal muscle reflexes, loss of responsiveness, and decreased stress response. Anesthesia is administered using one or more types of drugs to achieve the desired effect.
There are several types of anesthesia, including:
- General Anesthesia – During which a patient is rendered unconscious
- Local Anesthesia – A localized anesthetic that prevents sensation to a specific location on the body that is given by injection (i.e. tooth)
- Regional Anesthesia – Prevents a larger area of the body from sensation by blocking transmission of nerve impulses from that portion of the body to the spinal cord. The most commonly used regional anesthetics are spinal anesthesia and epidural anesthesia, both administered by an injection.
- Dissociative Anesthesia – Drugs such as ketamine and nitrous oxide (N2O), which prevent nerve impulse transmissions between the upper and lower centers of the brain and result in lack of sensation and unconsciousness.
Anesthesia is most often administered before medical procedures, such as surgery. In any surgical procedure, anesthesia poses a high risk, which is why anesthesiologists practice such a narrowly focused area of medicine.
While people commonly think of anesthesia as simply “putting someone to sleep,” in reality, there is a fine line between a safe, unconscious state and a potentially permanent coma or death. Anesthesia and surgery bring the patient into a complex world in which innumerable small failings can converge to produce an eventual catastrophe. Anesthesia errors can lead to severe brain injury, organ failures, and even death. In some cases, medication administered to a patient in the days or weeks prior to a surgical procedure can affect the drugs used for anesthesia. As a result, it is critical for anesthesiologists to examine a patient’s medical records prior to deciding on the types of medication to use to anesthetize a patient for surgery. It is also important to closely monitor the patient throughout the duration of the procedure.
Common Types of Anesthesia Errors Include:
- Administering too much of one or more anesthetic drugs
- Anesthesia awareness, occurring when too little of an anesthetic drug is administered and the patient is awake and aware for the duration of the procedure
- Administering an incorrect anesthesia drug procedure
- Administering specific anesthetics to a person with allergies
- Defective medical devices and equipment used during the administration of anesthesia
- Failure to properly instruct a patient prior to anesthesia, such as limiting food or liquid intake
- Failure to administer oxygen during surgery or failure to properly monitor a patient
If you or someone in your family has suffered personal injury or wrongful death due to an anesthesia error, the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Annapolis law firm Hyatt & Weber Injury Law can provide you with a complimentary evaluation of your case to assess what went wrong, whether the healthcare providers involved could or should have acted differently, and whether you are entitled to receive compensation for any damages caused by the healthcare provider’s negligence. Our goal is to help you receive the maximum compensation possible for your case. We represent clients throughout Maryland, including Hyattsville in Prince George’s County, Annapolis in Anne Arundel County, and Waldorf in Charles County.
Please call us today at 866-590-8719 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.