Many patients fail to consider the most dangerous aspect of surgery is not going under the knife but rather the administration of anesthesia. General anesthesia is a major medical procedure that puts patients into a deep sleep so they do not feel pain during surgery. General anesthesia is used to create five distinct conditions during a surgical procedure:
- pain relief (analgesia)
- loss of memory of the procedure (amnesia)
- loss of consciousness
- weakened autonomic responses
Patients under anesthesia are completely helpless and must trust physicians, nurse anesthetists and hospital nursing staff to appropriately administer drugs and monitor his or her status. Most surgeries in the US are performed under anesthesia without an adverse event. However, when anesthesia is administered improperly, it can cause catastrophic injuries or death.
Anesthesia Malpractice Lawyers
When the worst happens, the medical malpractice lawyer you choose can make all the difference. Proving an anesthesiologist’s negligence can be a long and arduous process. It is essential that your lawyer is experienced and knowledgeable. The Wieand Law Firm works with top-notch doctors and nurses to prove your anesthesia medical malpractice case. In addition, we may retain professional accountants, economists and financial analysts to prove past and future income loss, as well as other medical experts to determine the cost of a life care plan or future treatment costs.
The Wieand Law Firm has the skills and experience needed to handle even the most complex medical malpractice lawsuit. But you don’t need to take our word for it. Founding attorney, Brent Wieand has been consistently selected as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” which is an honor bestowed on less than 3% of Pennsylvania attorneys.
To discuss your anesthesia injury or wrongful death claim with an experienced lawyer, call The Wieand Law Firm today.
Causes of Anesthesia Medical Malpractice
Anesthesia medical malpractice can occur at any time during a surgical procedure. Mistakes can be made during pre-operative preparation, in the operating room or during recovery.
Often, anesthesia mistakes are caused by errors in judgment. For example, an anesthesiologist may miss an obvious condition or sign that their patient is at high risk due to their medical history. Other anesthesia risks include:
- Use of defective medical devices or equipment
- Administering an the wrong dosage of anesthesia drugs
- Failing to properly educate the patient about food or alcohol restrictions
- Failing to monitor a patient’s vital signs
- Improperly intubating a patient
Common Injuries Caused by Anesthesia Errors
When a mistake is made while administering anesthesia it often causes life altering or even fatal side effects, including:
- Hypoxic Brain injury
- Heart attack
- Collapsed lung
- Ulnar neuropathy
Anesthesia awareness is a condition where a patient under general anesthesia but is awake and experiencing pain yet unable to move or communicate their pain to the doctor. Patients are frequently administered drugs which paralyze them to keep them still during surgery. It is estimated that up to 40,000 people in the US experience anesthesia awareness each year during surgery. In some cases, patients have complete consciousness through their surgery, in other cases patients have vague recollections of the procedure.
Anesthesia awareness can result in post-traumatic stress disorder. Problems often manifest through symptoms such as nightmares, paranoia and insomnia. The problem of anesthesia awareness can usually be avoided if the anesthesiologist performs under the proper standard of medical care.
Anesthesia Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When an anesthesiologist places a patient under general anesthesia the doctor slows the patient’s body down to the point of near death, while controlling the levels to make sure they do not experience pain from the medical procedure. Anesthesiologists sometimes make mistakes and fail to follow the proper standard of medical care. Medical studies estimate that there are over 100 anesthesia related deaths each year. Sometimes anesthesia is listed as the primary cause and in other instances it is a contributing factor. The most common reason for anesthesia related wrongful death is overdose. Other deaths attributed to different anesthesia complications.
For a free and confidential case consultation contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm at 1(800) 481-5206. We are proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.