From major surgeries to minor dental procedures, patients today are greatly benefited by anesthetics.
Drug combinations that dull pain, relax muscles and even offer temporary amnesia make many medical procedures easier to handle. Although anesthesia is generally considered safe, its use carries some risks. When mistakes occur, the results are often devastating – permanent injury, serious brain damage, even death.
When a health professional fails to exercise proper care, injured patients have a right to hold them accountable. If you or someone you love has been injured as the result of an anesthesia error, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your losses and damages.
Contact the GA anesthesia error attorneys at the Mann Law Firm by calling (478) 742-3381 or filling out our online form. In addition to cases handled in Macon, we are prepared to handle negligence claims on behalf of clients in Dublin, Warner Robins or Milledgeville and other Georgia communities. We would like to meet with you to discuss your case.
Types of Anesthesia
There are two main types of anesthesia, general and local.
General anesthesia is usually used for major surgeries and renders patients completely unconscious with no perception or memory of the surgery (though pain from the surgical procedure is apparent upon awakening). It also limits the physiological responses to surgical cuts, keeping blood pressure, stress hormone release and heart rate constant during the procedure.
Local anesthesia involves numbing the skin and the tissue just below, thereby blocking the nerves that connect a particular body part or region to the brain. Examples include Novocain shots during a root canal and epidurals during childbirth.
Why Do Anesthesia Errors Occur?
Administering any type of anesthesia is a delicate procedure and can be dangerous if done incorrectly. When medical malpractice is the cause, potential defendants include anesthesiologists, nurses, nurse anesthetists, fellows and residents in training, surgeons, other doctors and dentists. Many anesthesia mistakes result from failing to properly evaluate the patient beforehand or failing to properly monitor the patient during the procedure.
Common errors include:
- Defective equipment
- Delayed anesthesia delivery
- Dosage inaccuracy: overdose or underdose
- Failure to recognize complications
- Failure to obtain a thorough, accurate patient history and sedate accordingly
- Harmful drug interactions with the anesthesia
- Improper intubation
- Improper oxygen administration
- Improper positioning of the patient.
What Types of Injuries Do Anesthesia Errors Cause?
At times, patients who have been put under the influence of general anesthesia are either never fully unconscious or wake up before the surgery is finished. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) estimates that such “anesthesia awareness” may occur as frequently as 20,000 to 40,000 times per year. This startling figure is reflected in the fact that claims by patients who were conscious and in pain, but unable to communicate with medical staff, have grown in recent years.
Other common injuries resulting from anesthesia error include:
- Brain damage or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Nerve damage
- Heart attack
- Spinal cord injury
Anesthesia error is a form of medical malpractice and you must act quickly to preserve your rights. If you have suffered an injury caused by an anesthesia mistake or if you have lost a loved one to any type of medical error in Georgia, please contact the Macon anesthesia error lawyers at the Mann Law Firm by calling (478) 742-3381 or filling out our online form. We help our clients pursue compensation for past and future medical expenses, loss of potential income, disability, emotional trauma, and more. Schedule a free and confidential consultation with us today to find out how we can help you.
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