Today, anesthesia is administered for most surgeries. The procedure is performed in a hospital, an ambulatory surgery center, or a doctor’s office. Anesthesiologists and other surgical or medical staff members have a duty to avoid mistakes by not rushing or cutting corners while patients are under the influence of anesthesia in preoperative, surgical, recovery, and post-operative settings.
For every one million patients who undergo surgery, seven people die as a result of anesthesia errors. If you have undergone surgery or a medical procedure that required you to be under anesthesia and you have residual side-effects, you may be eligible to receive a settlement to compensate for the financial losses you have sustained due to lack of income and incurred medical bills.
Contact Wagner Reese at (888) 204-8440 for a free consultation with one of our anesthesia error attorneys in Indianapolis.
How Do Anesthesia Mistakes Happen?
Anesthesiologists are, in general, highly trained professionals. However, whether due to simple human error, negligence, or outright malpractice, anesthesia mistakes can and do occur.
Some of the most common causes of these types of mistakes include:
- Dosage Errors: A patient may receive an incorrect anesthesia dosage if a product is labeled incorrectly or if the anesthesiologist administers an improper dosage.
- Failure to Intubate/Intubation Mistakes: Patients are typically intubated when they receive anesthesia in order to help them breathe. Failure to do this, or incorrectly intubating a patient, can be considered an anesthesia error.
- Delayed Administration: If anesthesia administration is delayed, due to complications like IV errors or vaporizer leakage, it can cause serious injury.
- Failure to Recognize and Respond to Complications: Some patients have a negative reaction to anesthesia; if an anesthesiologist fails to recognize or react to the symptoms, he or she has acted negligently.
- Improper Patient Monitoring: Leaving the patient alone right after administering anesthesia, failure to monitor consciousness, or leaving the patient unattended are all forms of anesthesia negligence.
- Failure to Monitor Oxygen Levels: A pulse oximeter is often used to monitor a patient’s oxygen levels while under anesthesia. Failure to monitor the device or turning off the alarm are examples of negligence.
- Communication Errors: Examples of communication errors in regards to anesthesia negligence include failing to inform the patient of possible side effects, failing to tell the patient not to eat or drink before the procedure, or failing to ask about the patient’s medical history.
This list is not exhaustive; there are many other causes of anesthesia errors, including negligent administration of anesthesia, drug/alcohol use by the anesthesiologist, prolonging sedation, and defective or faulty medical equipment.
What to Do If You or a Loved One Suffered Due to an Anesthesia Mistake
Few things are as distressing as realizing that the person you have trusted to care for your health and safety has failed in this duty. It is understandable that, following an anesthesia mistake, you may feel upset, angry, or confused. However, there are a few important steps that you should take right away in order to protect your rights, including your right to compensation.
If you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice, first, remain calm. Rather than try to deal with the issue yourself, reach out to an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can clearly discuss your rights and legal options. At Wagner Reese, our anesthesia error lawyers in Indianapolis have more than 120+ years of combined experience. We understand how to investigate, prepare, and litigate complex medical negligence cases.
Discuss your situation with our legal team today; call (888) 204-8440 to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.