Miami Anesthesia Error Lawyer
Any type of surgical procedure involves an inherent risk of injury to a patient. Interestingly, the most risky part of surgery may not be the actual surgery itself, but the anesthesia administered before and during the surgical procedure.
Anesthesia, a medically-induced condition, is most commonly thought of as a way to reduce pain during a surgical procedure. It is also used for a variety of other purposes, including inducing a loss of consciousness, loss of memory, and/or muscle relaxation. Anesthesia can be general, where the patient is completely unconscious, or local, where only a specific area of the body is affected.
To produce a state of anesthesia, drugs are typically injected into the patient through an intravenous (IV) line, but may also be administered via gas (or a combination of the two methods). It is the responsibility of the anesthesiologist to carefully calculate the proper dosage to administer and, along with other medical professionals, continually monitor the condition of the patient, including heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, body temperature, and oxygen levels.
Injuries from anesthesia are usually thought of as taking place in the operating room. In reality, these types of injuries can occur in a broad array of settings, including during labor and delivery, in both pre- and post-operative (i.e. recovery) rooms, during sedation for common dental procedures, and during any of a number of outpatient medical procedures that may be performed in a clinic or doctor’s office. Contact our Miami anesthesia error lawyers for more information.
The following are some examples of negligent anesthesia errors that can cause injury:
- Overdosing (or underdosing) of drugs used to induce anesthetic state – Too much anesthesia can be given, resulting in changes in blood pressure, stroke, heart attack. Conversely, too little anesthesia may result in a less common phenomenon known as “anesthesia awareness,” where the patient is conscious during a surgery but unable to alert anyone.
- Improper monitoring of the patient while under anesthesia – Changes in vital signs such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and even level of consciousness must be continually monitored. Failure to do so has led to such tragedies as heart attacks and even damage to the brain.
- Improper placement of the endotracheal tube – When anesthesia is administered through a tube placed in the trachea (common in emergency situations), an error may be made if the tube is placed into the esophagus instead of the trachea. Unfortunately, improper placement can go undetected even with a physical examination. The patient may suffer anoxia, or complete deprivation of oxygen.
- Improper positioning of the patient’s body – Great care must be taken when positioning a body during anesthesia. Improper positioning can cause prolonged pressure on the nerves, leading to irreparable nerve damage and even, in severe cases, death. Patients under anesthesia may be more at risk of injuries stemming from improper positioning due to their inability to move or even feel pressure or pain.
A mistake during anesthesia can cause a range of complications, from temporary pain to long-term injuries such as nerve damage, brain damage, coma, and even death. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an anesthesia error, it is important to contact a medical malpractice lawyer with proven skill and experience. The Miami medical malpractice lawyers of Miami’s Pita Weber & Del Prado have both been recognized as Top Lawyers by the South Florida Legal Guide. Contact us today at 305-670-2889 for a free initial consultation.