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What patients need to know about anesthesia errors

| Sep 30, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

Many Kentucky residents have undergone surgery at least once in their lifetime. Likely, most people spend at least some time worrying about the procedure, hoping it will be successful, and wondering whether it will cause them discomfort or pain or even an untimely death. Patients may be particularly concerned about anesthesia. Doctors who administer the anesthetic during a surgical procedure have a great responsibility to do all necessary testing and prepping before the procedure and to manage patients throughout the surgery so they do not feel any pain. This part of the procedure comes with some risks; sometimes errors occur, and occasionally, such errors are fatal.

Anesthesiologists may cause errors due to medical negligence, improper diagnosis or the method they use to administer the anesthetic. For example, an anesthesiologist may fail to administer enough anesthetic, causing the patient to feel pain but without the ability to communicate this fact. The anesthesiologist may also wait too long to administer the anesthesia, use the wrong type of anesthesia or neglect to thoroughly cover instructions with the patient prior to surgery. Other common anesthesia mistakes include failing to properly monitor the patient during the procedure, using defective medical equipment and neglecting to properly address a patient’s allergic reaction to drugs used during the process.

Patients can experience a variety of complications due to improperly administered anesthetic, including damage to organs, such as the brain or heart, and/or they may suffer from one or more of these effects: confusion, blurry vision, heart arrythmia or more serious complications, including spinal cord injury, stroke or even death. To try to prevent anesthesia errors and make informed decisions, patients and their family members should be sure they understand the pre-surgery protocols the anesthesiologist is expected to follow. They should also know the types of anesthesia, effects of anaesthesia on the patient, complications that can arise from errors and how to prevent them.

Even Kentucky residents who have never undergone surgery will most likely be on a surgical table at some point. Anyone going into surgery should feel comfortable and confident that their medical team will apply all of their knowledge and professional expertise, and the surgery will end successfully. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and when errors happen due to medical negligence, people often turn to the civil justice system to seek retribution for pain and suffering, lost income and other related damages.

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