When a patient undergoes a surgical procedure, anesthesiologists often place the patient in an unconscious or semi-conscious state through medications and gasses. Anesthesiologists are not only responsible for keeping a patient sedated during surgery, but also managing their vital signs and oxygenation. They often may be primarily responsible for the patient’s care immediately after surgery.
On a serious note, anesthesia errors can occur during surgery and can lead to disastrous consequences. It is only after a patient dies, or a serious problem has occurred, that a patient or family learns about an anesthesia error.
Common anesthesia mistakes resulting from medical negligence or malpractice include:
Errors in anesthesia dosage: A dosage error can happen if an anesthesiologist gives too much or too little anesthesia. Too much anesthesia can result in dangerously prolonged sedation leading to coma or brain injury.
Too little anesthesia: Too little of a dosage can lead to a condition known as anesthesia awareness, where the patient wakes up during the surgery itself. This can lead to a horrifying experience, where the patient is aware of what is happening and is experiencing the extreme pain.
Failure to intubate: Anesthesiologists will often intubate a patient during surgery in order to help them breath safely. When an anesthesiologist makes an error during intubation or fails to maintain a proper airway, serious injury can result.
Failure to monitor: Anesthesiologists are not only responsible for a patient’s level of consciousness during the procedure, but also their oxygenation, among other vital responsibilities. Failure to fulfill these essential duties can lead to serious brain injury or death.
Communication errors: Anesthesiologists are required to keep those performing surgery informed of the patient’s condition, including his or her vital signs before, during and after. Failure to properly communicate can lead to serious complications or injury.
Don’t feel like you don’t have a say in this matter. Consult with a medial malpractice lawyer from Parvey and Frankel if you or a loved one was negligently taken care of by an anesthesiologist.