Going under general anesthesia can be scary.
You are likely scared of both the medical procedure you are undergoing and scared of getting the anesthesia itself.
Patient fears about anesthesia are not unfounded, as anesthesia errors often leave patients with severe and lifelong disabilities.
These medical mistakes are also more common than most people realize.
For example, according to one study, a total of 17,116 anesthetic errors were reported between 2007 and 2014.
Those who experienced serious injury after an anesthesia mistake may have a medical malpractice lawsuit against one or more providers.
At the New Mexico medical malpractice law firm of Poulos & Coates, LLP, our medical malpractice attorneys have more than 70 years of experience helping patients recover financial compensation through anesthesia malpractice claims.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Are Anesthesia Errors Medical Malpractice?
Yes, when an anesthesiologist’s preventable mistake results in patient harm, they could be held liable through a medical malpractice claim.
Below are six anesthesia malpractice case examples.
Anesthesia awareness is the term used to describe a situation where a patient wakes up when they are supposed to be under the effects of anesthesia.
These errors are typically the result of doctors providing too little medication or administering the medication too late.
Before an anesthesiologist can administer anesthesia, they must conduct a thorough review of the patient’s medical history.
They must also advise the patient about food and drink restrictions prior to the procedure. If a doctor fails to provide the necessary pre-operative care, the anesthesia may not work as intended.
Anesthesiologists place a tube down a patient’s throat that allows them to receive oxygen while they are unconscious.
In the context of anesthesia, aspiration occurs when a patient vomits and gets food or liquid in their trachea and lungs.
This often causes severe complications because the patient lacks the esophageal reflexes that would normally expel the vomit, leading to an inability to breathe.
If an anesthesiologist provides a patient with too little medication, they may wake up during the procedure.
However, if a patient receives too much medication, it can cause permanent damage to their organs and may result in the patient slipping into a coma.
Failure to Monitor a Patient
Doctors or nurses should always monitor a patient’s vitals.
Additionally, patients should be moved frequently to avoid nerve compression, which may lead to permanent nerve damage.
These are just a few anesthesia malpractice case examples.
There are many other situations in which a doctor or other healthcare provider may be liable for anesthesia injuries.
Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case Against an Anesthesiologist?
If you or a loved one recently suffered preventable injuries as a result of an anesthesia mistake, reach out to Poulos & Coates, LLP, to learn more about your rights.
At our New Mexico medical malpractice law firm, we have over seven decades of experience helping patients and their families pursue justice after suffering unnecessarily at the hands of negligent medical providers.