Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Common Anesthesia Mistakes
Anesthesia is a crucial part of any surgical procedure as it induces a temporary loss of sensation and awareness so the patient does not feel any pain. When an anesthesiologist administers the medication correctly, it can have a significant impact on the success of the surgery. However, administering anesthesia can also be the most dangerous part of a surgical procedure, particularly when complications arise. In fact, recent statistics reveal one in every 200,000 to 300,000 patients die as a result of anesthesia complications. While mistakes and complications occur somewhat regularly, people are not likely to hear about it until it happens to them.
In addition to administering the anesthesia medication, an anesthesiologist must manage the patient’s vital signs throughout the procedure. In many cases, when a mistake occurs during surgery, it is corrected quickly and the patient never knows about it. However, when a mistake is the result of medical negligence, it can have more serious consequences. The following are some of the most common anesthesia mistakes:
- Intubation errors: If the anesthesiologist fails to properly intubate, or injures the patient during intubation, it can cause serious injuries.
- Dosage Errors: Administering the wrong dosage of medication can cause serious complications. For example, too much anesthesia for a prolonged time can cause brain injury. Too little anesthesia can cause anesthesia awareness, where the patient regains consciousness during surgery. This can be very traumatic for the patient, who may still be unable to speak while experiencing excruciating pain.
- Poor communication among staff: When there is a communication breakdown, it can put the patient’s life in jeopardy. Issues like fatigue, personality conflicts, or rushing through a procedure can lead to mistakes. It is crucial for an anesthesiologist or technician to consider all the patient’s safety factors, including age, weight, any previous reactions to anesthesia, and type of surgery being performed.
- Lack of training, experience, or certification: Unfortunately, many technicians lack the proper training to administer anesthesia medications. If a poorly trained anesthesia professional is responsible for administering anesthesia during a surgical procedure, the risk of serious complications during surgery is high. In most cases, there is little opportunity for the patient or the family to meet the anesthesiologist or check his or her credentials before the surgery.
- Failure to thoroughly review chart notes or orders: A simple oversight of a medication allergy can have serious consequences. If a healthcare professional did not read the patient’s chart in its entirety, he or she may have missed a notation that specified a medical condition or allergy, which can cause a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Anesthesia Errors
If you or a loved one has been injured during a surgical procedure due to an anesthesia error, you are encouraged to contact the highly skilled Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. If your injury was the result of medical negligence, we will hold the negligent party responsible and aggressively pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice lawyers, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent victims of medical malpractice throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.March 18, 2017