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Possible Causes of Anesthesia Errors | Injuries Caused by Anesthesia Errors | Anesthesia Awareness | Getting Help After an Anesthesia Error
When a patient undergoes a surgical procedure, anesthesiologists often use a general anesthetic, which allows the patient to enter an unconscious or semi-conscious state in the absence of pain. While anesthesia is generally considered safe today, anesthesia errors can be made, leading to disastrous consequences. Current statistics indicate that 1 in every 200,000 to 300,000 patients die due to anesthesia complications.
Anesthesia errors can occur for a number of reasons, but are often the result of professional negligence. When an anesthesia error could have been prevented given current medical knowledge, the responsible medical providers can be held liable for the patient’s injuries and suffering under medical malpractice laws. If you or a loved one has suffered injury or death because of an anesthesia error, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your damages including, but not limited to, past and future medical expenses, loss of income, disability, emotional pain and suffering, and more.
The qualified medical malpractice attorneys at Oshman & Mirisola are experienced in helping people who have suffered serious injuries due to medical mistakes such as anesthesia error. We would like to learn how we could help. Please contact us to speak with a qualified attorney who can answer your questions about anesthesia error and help you understand your legal rights and options.
Possible Causes of Anesthesia Errors
Anesthesia errors can occur at various points during a patient’s time in the hospital or doctor’s office. We trust our medical providers to do everything possible to prevent anesthesia errors. When they fail to exercise the degree of care and prudence necessary, injured patients have the right to hold them accountable.
The following are some of the most common anesthesia mistakes resulting from medical negligence or wrongful action:
Injuries Caused by Anesthesia Errors
The type of damage caused by anesthesia error will undoubtedly depend on the type of mistake that was made and the subsequent medical response. The most common injuries caused by anesthesia errors include:
Anesthesia awareness is a particular type of serious harm that can occur because of anesthesia error. As we mentioned above, an anesthesiologist has the responsibility to correctly regulate a patient’s consciousness during a surgical procedure. If the medical provider administers an insufficient dose of anesthesia, a patient may wake up in the middle of the procedure.
This can be a horrifying experience, since the person is often paralyzed and unable to speak yet they are aware of what is happening and may even experience the extreme pain of surgery. According to a study in Anesthesia & Analgesia, nearly one-half of patients who experience anesthesia awareness will hear conversations in the operating room, half will feel as if they cannot breathe, and 28 percent will feel the pain of surgery.
Experiencing anesthesia awareness can be traumatizing physically and/or emotionally. Some patients who experience awareness report feelings of paralysis and helplessness. The emotional trauma associated with anesthesia awareness can lead a patient to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, sleep problems, and more.
In the past (and perhaps even today), hospitals and doctors have been reluctant to address the serious issue of anesthesia awareness. However, this is undeniable problem affects thousands of Americans each year and it is getting harder to ignore. In fact, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations states that 21,000 to 42,000 Americans experience anesthesia awareness each year.
In some cases, anesthesia awareness occurs because a patient reacts unexpectedly to a type or dose of general anesthetic, they are given a light dose on purpose due to the instability or severity of their condition, or a medication masks signs that a patient has not received enough anesthesia. However, anesthesia awareness may be the result of a medical professional’s error or equipment failure. In the latter cases, the injured patient may be able to seek compensation for their losses and suffering.
Getting Help After an Anesthesia Error
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury because of an anesthesia error, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses and suffering. To learn more about your legal rights and options please contact the qualified and experienced New York medical malpractice attorneys at Oshman & Mirisola for a free and confidential consultation. We are available to answer your questions and determine the best course of action given your situation.