Anesthesia Error – Lake Charles Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Over the last century or so the advances made in the field of medicine have significantly contributed to a much longer life expectancy for the average American – not to mention made our lives much easier and more enjoyable. The use of anesthesia, for example, now makes complicated and lengthy surgery possible and makes routine surgery much less painful. What happens though, when something goes wrong with anesthesia? Unfortunately, anesthesia errors occur far more often than most people realize. Those errors can have serious, even fatal, consequences for the patient. If you, or a loved one, are the victim of an anesthesia error you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffered as a result.
Anesthesia is a broad term that refers to a number of different methods used for creating a medically induced state that includes any, or all, of the following: amnesia, inability to feel pain, loss of skeletal muscle reflexes, loss of responsiveness, and decreased stress response. A wide variety of drugs are used to create different types or levels of anesthesia. Those levels typically include:
- General anesthesia
- Spinal or epidural anesthesia
- Regional anesthesia
- Local anesthesia
Anesthesia is a medical specialty, meaning that when anything but local anesthesia is used an anesthesiologist is usually called in to administer the anesthesia. Any number of things can go wrong when anesthesia is used. According to a study released by the National Institute of Health, the most common types of anesthesia errors include:
- Administering the wrong medication
- Underdose – 4%
- Omission – 2%
- Incorrect administration route – 8%
As a patient, it is often difficult to know, or recognize, when you are the victim of an anesthesia error, due in large part to the simple fact that anesthesia can affect two people very differently. Some of the most common scenarios that lead to anesthesia errors include:
- Administering too much anesthesia, causing the patient’s heart rate to drop dangerously or even causing death.
- Not administering enough anesthesia, causing the patient to be aware during surgery or feel pain when he/she should not.
- Administering the wrong drug, causing an adverse reaction or failing to result in relief for the patient.
- Failing to check for drug interactions, causing adverse reactions or even death.
- Failing to warn or instruct a patient about the risks and/or the proper precautions, such as not eating prior to surgery.
- Failing to properly monitor a patient during, and after, surgery
The consequences of an anesthesia error can be anything from minor discomfort or irritation to death. Sadly, anesthesia errors can, and often do, result in things such as paralysis, brain or organ damage, and heart problems. If you believe you are the victim of an anesthesia error it is critical that you consult with an experienced Louisiana personal injury accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Contact the Lake Charles Medical Malpractices Lawyers at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today.
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