With millions of patients undergoing surgery each year in the U.S. and receiving anesthesia, it is important to be aware of the potential risks that may occur from being anesthetized. Use of anesthesia includes when a patient is numbed with medication at certain levels of the spine, when topical anesthetic is used to numb the skin and soft tissue areas, or when intravenous narcotics are used to “put a patient under” or “put a patient to sleep.” Anesthesia is usually administered for surgical procedures such as brain, heart, or other organ surgery, C-sections, or for surgery on limbs or skin. According to Injury.com, approximately every 1 out of 250,000 people die from anesthesia-related complications and accidents.
Some causes of anesthesia accidents include:
- Lack of patient monitoring;
- Faulty medical equipment/devices;
- Allergic reaction;
- Drug interactions; and
- Too much or too little anesthesia.
A common belief is that anesthetic malpractice only occurs during surgery in a hospital, when in fact it can happen in other places and at other times. Anesthesia-related errors can also happen at an urgent care center, dentist office, doctor’s office (with local anesthetic), in- or outpatient surgeries, and during pre- or post-op. Complications that can arise from anesthesia accidents and errors can be quite varied, and include sore throats, allergic reactions, anxiety, personal injury, or even death.
In order to prevent being a victim of a dangerous anesthesia accident, check on the past success of the medical team who will be performing your surgery. Also, make sure that the doctor, surgeon, and anesthesiologist all know your complete medical history to try and prevent harmful reactions. Having a surgical procedure can be quite nerve wracking because of the things that may potentially go wrong, and when a medical professional acts in a negligent manner that results in undue injury to a patient, the patient has the right to receive compensation for their injuries and pursue a medical malpractice case.
If you have been involved an anesthesia-related accident that you feel was caused by negligence of the anesthesiologist or other medical professional, the Nebraska anesthesia accident attorneys of Cullan & Cullan can help. A careful review of a patient’s medical records can help determine what caused the anesthesia-related injury or fatality, and as we are also physicians, we will have a greater understanding of the case and possible causes of the accident. Please call (402) 397-7600 for a free consultation.