Surgery, in general, is risky but having a competent surgeon and anesthesiologist should never be a concern for a patient. Unfortunately, there are examples of patients being injured because of an anesthesiologist’s medical negligence. The patient is the victim in these instances and the anesthesiologist could be held liable for any injuries or illnesses resulting from anesthesia error.
Different Forms of Anesthesia
Each type of anesthesia is designed to help keep you comfortable and pain-free while being operated on. Depending on the severity of your surgery, there are different types and levels of anesthesia that would be administered, including:
- General Anesthesia – The most common anesthesia used for major surgeries and is administered by an anesthesiologist through either a mask or IV into your vein. The anesthesiologist will monitor the patient’s vital signs throughout the duration of the operation.
- Regional Anesthesia – Typically used during childbirth and for surgeries on your arms or legs. A large body part will be numbed but you will remain awake during the procedure.
- IV / Monitored Sedation – Even with a heavy sedation, you will remain conscious throughout the procedure. This anesthesia process is typically used for minor surgeries that involve a scope, such as a colonoscopy.
- Local Anesthesia – One-time injection of anesthesia used for minor procedures, like having a mole removed or getting stitches. The patient remains awake and shouldn’t feel pain in the area being treated.
Common Mistakes with Anesthesia During Surgery
If a patient is injured or becomes ill due to anesthesia being improperly administered, the anesthesiologist may be held liable for his or her negligence. It is the responsibility of the anesthesiologist to know the medical history of the patient prior to administering the anesthesia. Many of the mistakes that occur with anesthesia during surgery, are due to human error. A simple, very avoidable mistake could lead to life-changing or potentially fatal consequences for a patient. Some of these preventable situations that occur in the operating room, include:
Miscommunication between the anesthesiologist and other medical staff
Administering anesthesia too late
Giving too much or not enough anesthesia
Patient being under for too long
Failing to recognize a poor reaction to the medicine
Improper oxygen levels being given
Ignoring warnings coming from vital medical equipment
Contact an Arlington Heights Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you know was a victim of anesthesia malpractice, contact our Palatine Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP. Call us at 847-797-8000 today for a free consultation.