POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS RESULTING FROM ANESTHESIOLOGIST ERRORS
Despite considerable advances since the beginning of the twenty-first century, the use of anesthesiology continues to put patients at risk and anesthesiologists, doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers in the precarious position of possibly facing the consequences of medical malpractice lawsuits when things go very wrong in the OR.
Advances in the use of anesthesia notwithstanding, errors can, and still, are made. And, they can cause dire complications in patients when too much, too little, or the wrong formulation of these powerful drugs are used.
The list of said complications is lengthy and they can be scary including, but not limited to, the following:
- Heart attack
- Regaining consciousness during an operation
- Brain damage
- Nerve injury
- Allergic reaction, some serious
- Damage to the larynx and/or teeth
- Pain, nausea and/or vomiting
Minor problems resulting from the use of anesthesia, like post-op pain and queasy stomach and vomiting are far more common and can affect up to 40% of patients after having a surgical procedure, according to data gathered by this blog from a variety of studies conducted over the past year by medical and insurance experts and organizations.
The far more serious possible consequences of errors made by anesthesiologists are much less common. By example, a noted medical association study puts the risk of waking up before a patient is ready to regain consciousness at approximately 0.2%.
- Dosage error: either too much or too little is administered.
- Improperly inserted intubation tube that causes tooth damage.
- Failure to monitor the patient properly and thus failing to recognize complications as they are developing.
- Mishandling equipment (i.e. pulse oximeter) used to monitor oxygen levels in a patient’s blood; and other devices used to deliver proper levels of oxygen to the patient during surgery.
- Neglecting to give the patient the proper instructions on how to prepare for surgery, such as not eating or drinking for a specified time before the surgery; and/or not double-checking with patient prior to surgery to insure that instructions were followed…to the letter.
- When surgical procedures take many hours (i.e. heart by-pass surgery) if anesthesiologist neglects to move patients periodically to avoid putting too much pressure on specific parts of the body, it can cause serious organ damage to the patient.
Medical malpractice due to errors made by anesthesiologists can occur in many different ways. If you think you have been the victim of medical malpractice due to an error made by an anesthesiologist during surgery, you should contact one of our lawyers and Dankner Milstein, P.C. for a free consultation. Our firm has recovered more than $500 million for clients we’ve represented; and has secured more than one hundred and fifty (150) settlements of a million dollars or more.