New York Anesthesia Error Lawyers
Many modern medical procedures would not be possible without anesthesia and the services performed by trained anesthesiologists. Anesthesia can sedate a patient so that he or she is unaware of the procedure that is being performed and so that the patient is unable to experience the pain they would otherwise feel. Absent anesthesia, many procedures would be impossible to perform or severe complications would become much more common. Anesthesia can be administered to a number of different levels including:
- General anesthesia – Typically reserved for more invasive procedures, general anesthesia is what most people probably think of when they hear the term. General anesthesia “knocks out” the patient into a state of unconsciousness for the medical procedure.
- Epidural anesthesia – This type of anesthesia is administered through the spine. While it is often associated with childbirth, spinal anesthesia can be utilized in a broad array of contexts.
- Local anesthesia – Localized anesthesia is utilized in scenarios where only a small part of the body needs to be numbed. This type of anesthesia may be utilized on a tooth for a dental procedure or on an arm or leg.
- Regional anesthesia – Regional anesthesia can be used when larger areas of the body, like arms or legs, must be numbed.
While anesthesia has many uses and applications, mistakes in its usage can lead to catastrophic, irreversible injuries or death. If you have been injured by a mistake by an anesthesiologist, the attorneys of Sullivan & Galleshaw can fight for you.
What Types of Mistakes Can Be Made with Anesthesia?
Anesthesia errors can unfortunately occur in a broad array of circumstances and during any medical procedure requiring its administration. Some of the more common mistakes that can be made by an anesthesiologist include:
- The administration of the incorrect drug.
- The administration of the incorrect mix of sedating drugs.
- The delayed delivery of anesthesia.
- The administration of an insufficient dosage of anesthesia.
- The failure to account for drug interactions with prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
- The improper monitoring of or failure to monitor patient oxygen levels.
- The administration of anesthesia to a person with known anesthesia allergies.
- The use of a defective medical device during the procedure.
- The failure to properly intubate or intubate a patient at all.
- Failure to communicate with the surgeon or communication errors.
The failure to administer a sufficient dosage of sedating chemicals can result in a condition known as anesthesia awareness. This condition may render the patient unable to move or communicate, but he or she will be fully aware of his or her surroundings. Thus, the individual will be aware of the procedure that is being performed on his or her body and he or she will be able to feel pain. This is sometimes referred to a intra-operative awareness. Patients who experience such a traumatic event or surgical errors may face medical complications along with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What Types of Consequences Can Occur Following an Error with an Anesthetic?
The consequences of an anesthesia error is typically dependent on the factors present at the time of the mistake and injury. These factors include the patient’s health, the procedure performed, the mistake the occurred and many other considerations. However possible complications and anesthesia injuries can include:
- Brain damage
- Dizziness and confusion
- Respiratory depression
- Arrhythmia of the heart
- Depressed or abnormal heart rate
- Damage to organs
- Vein, artery or nerve damage
- Birth defects
- Birth injuries
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious injury due to an anesthesia error, the personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys of Sullivan & Galleshaw can fight for you. To schedule your anesthesia injury legal consultation call 718-843-0300 or contact us online.