One of the most unsuspecting elements of any surgical procedure is the anesthesia used to sedate the patient while being operated upon. It is very specialized area of medicine, requiring extensive training and the utmost precision when being administered. Too much anesthesia can cause brain injury and too little anesthesia can cause the patient to wake up too early.
Medical malpractice insurance premiums are significantly higher for anesthesiologists. This is because, while other doctors do have room for human error, anesthesia requires near perfection in order to be properly administered. There are a number of anesthetic duties involved in just one surgical procedure requiring all of the attention of the anesthesiologist at every moment of the procedure.
The type of anesthesia administered should be determined prior to the surgery. Individuals can have allergic reactions to certain types, which will cause complications during the surgery. Determining the right type will account for the patient's medical history as well as his or her family history. Patients who smoke, take regular medication and suffer from sleep apnea may require special administration.
The anesthesiologist will administer the drug and then be responsible to monitor the patient at every moment in order to warn the surgical team of any complications. Complications to be warned of include the lack of oxygen in the blood, reduced heart rate and signs of anaphylactic shock. Factors that may contribute to a higher risk of complication include using defective equipment, overdose due to lack of pre-operative examinations, failing to instruct patient on pre-operative diets, incorrect incubation and neglecting the patient's vital signs.
Mistakes in anesthesia are often subtle and since the patient is sedated at the time that most of them occur, many injured patients are unaware of the complications. However, many of the injuries may not manifest themselves until after the surgery, such as:
These injuries can have life-long if not life-ending impacts on the patient. If such injuries occur after a surgery, it is important to retain all of the medical records related to the procedure and to contact a personal injury attorney right away.
Because anesthesia is such a specialized subject and because the patient has no recollection of the anesthesiologist's actions during the procedure, determining whether malpractice occurred can be a challenge. However, with the help of the right Santa Clarita personal injury lawyer and the full records of the procedure, an injured patient can and should be compensated for undergoing such subpar medical treatment. The injuries discussed above may require additional surgical procedures, prolonged hospitalization, long-term medication and even assisted living. Furthermore, when the injuries affect one's mental capacity, the patient's ability to live independently and to work for financial support can be significantly diminished.
These are all expensive ramifications for the mistake of a doctor who should have known better. The patient and their family should not face these costs along. That is why The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus works hard to represent injured patients and their families against negligent anesthesiologists in order to recover the compensation that is deserved. If you are a patient or the family member of a patient who suffered injuries that you suspect were the result of anesthesia malpractice, contact a Santa Clarita personal injury attorney from our firm to learn more about how we can help you claim what you deserve.