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Anesthesia errors: what are they and how you can prove them

On Behalf of Cronin & Maxwell

When you, or someone you love, goes into surgery, you may assume that the most dangerous part of the procedure is the surgery itself. However, the possibility of anesthesia error is often overlooked. Anesthesia, prevents you from feeling pain during surgery, often by rendering you unconscious. Used in most surgeries, anesthesia is widely used but can be dangerous.

Unfortunately, there are many errors that an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist can make while you are in surgery that can have severe, even life altering, consequences.

Common anesthesia errors

There are a few common examples of how a medical professional can make an anesthesia error, including:

  • Administering too much or too little anesthesia.
  • Not preventing adverse reactions to patient’s allergies or other medication
  • Administering the wrong type of anesthesia
  • Failing to monitor the patient’s oxygen over the course of the surgery

Damage from anesthesia errors

There are a wide range of issues that can occur in one’s body if anesthesia is not administered or monitored properly. These include:

  • Awareness of pain during surgery, but an inability to move or speak
  • Damage to major organs
  • Damage to nerves or spine, possible paralysis
  • Brain death/ damage due to lack of oxygen
  • Heart attack, stroke, coma, death
  • Minor complications: vomiting, pain, confusion

How to prove error

Because anesthesia errors fall into the medical malpractice suit category, it may be easier to prove an anesthesia error using the same tactics. These cases can be difficult to prove, but it will be helpful if you can prove that there was a anesthesiologist/patient relationship, the anesthesiologist acted negligently and due to their negligence, you were injured as a result.

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