Anesthesia injection

Anesthesia Errors and Medical Malpractice

Anesthesia is an integral part of many important medical procedures. When anesthesia errors occur, serious injury to the patient can result. If you have been injured due to an anesthesia related mistake, you may be entitled to compensation through bringing a medical malpractice claim. You should note, however, that not all anesthesia mistakes, or medical errors in general, will result in compensable injuries. In order for medical malpractice to have occurred, the treating medical professional must have been negligence. In other words, they must have provided substandard care which caused injury to a patient. Here, we’ll take a closer look at some of the anesthesia errors that may result in a medical malpractice claim.

Anesthesia Errors and Medical Malpractice

There is a range in types and uses of anesthesia. In the medical context, there are three types of anesthesia. First, there is local anesthesia. This is used to numb a certain part of the body. Local anesthesia is most often used in less invasive procedures. Next, there is regional anesthesia, which numbs a broader area of the body than local anesthesia. One example of a regional anesthesia is an epidural. The third type of anesthesia is general anesthesia. This is the type of anesthesia that puts a patient into total unconsciousness so they are unable to feel pain.

Each type of anesthesia carries certain risks and requires certain procedures be followed in order for the administration of the anesthesia to be effective. The potential for mistakes in administering anesthesia is always looming and the utmost care must be exercised even before the anesthesia is given to the patient. That is why anesthesia errors leading to medical malpractice claims can occur even before the anesthesia is administered.

Preoperative anesthesia mistakes most relate to patient education. Failing to educate the patient about the potential risk of the anesthesia and the procedure they are about to undergo can lead to medical malpractice liability. Failure to review the patient’s medical history to check for potential complications can also lead to liability exposure as well as putting the patient at great risk. 

Then there is, of course, those mistakes that can be made concerning the actual administration of the anesthesia. Some of the most common surgery anesthesia mistakes include:

  • Delayed anesthesia administration
  • Incorrect anesthesia dosage
  • Incorrect anesthesia type
  • Improper monitoring of surgical oxygen
  • Improper monitoring of patient vital signs
  • Failure to identify developing complications

There are also post-operative anesthesia mistakes that can lead to medical malpractice liability. A patient may have been left sedated for longer than necessary. An anesthetized patient may have been left unattended. A patient may not have been provided with proper post-operative instructions. All of these mistakes can lead to patient injury and medical malpractice liability exposure.

Anesthesia errors can have truly devastating consequences for a patient. Potential harm and complications may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Nerve damage
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Brain damage
  • Death

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Have you suffered due to negligent medical care? Talk to the team at Cooper, Schall & Levy about pursuing a medical malpractice claim to get the monetary compensation you deserve for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.