St. Petersburg Anesthesia Error Lawyer
Although many people assume that negligence during surgical procedures, misdiagnosis, and mis-prescribing medications are the most common forms of medical malpractice, the reality is that, while this type of negligent conduct can and does cause serious injuries every year, a surprisingly high number of medical malpractice cases are actually based on assertions of anesthesia errors. Administering anesthesia is a complicated process that requires specialists to take a number of factors into account when determining dosages, including gender, age, and the general health of the patient. Even a minor miscalculation during this process can have tragic results, leading to brain damage, permanent disability, and even death.
Because the consequences of anesthesia errors are so serious, medical malpractice victims are strongly encouraged to speak with an experienced St. Petersburg anesthesia error lawyer about recovering compensation to cover the cost of past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future income, and pain and suffering.
Types of Anesthesia
Injuries caused by anesthesia errors tend to be severe, as they often involve a loss of oxygen to the brain, which can cause permanent brain damage. However, the seriousness of this type of injury generally depends on the type and amount of anesthesia that was administered. There are a number of different types of anesthesias, but the most common include:
- General anesthesia, which is used to render patients completely unconscious during a procedure;
- Spinal and epidural anesthesia, which is injected into a patient’s spinal cord and is usually used to numb the lower half of a person’s body, often during childbirth;
- Local anesthesia, which is much less potent and is only used to numb small parts of a person’s body for less intense procedures;
- Regional anesthesia, which is injected near the nerves of the area to be operated upon and numbs a larger area than local anesthesia; and
- Dissociative anesthesia, which is only used during superficial diagnostic procedures or operations because it doesn’t actually induce a total loss of consciousness.
While complications with any of these types of anesthesia could prove dangerous to a patient, most errors involve general anesthesia.
Common Examples of Anesthesia Errors
Administering anesthesia is a complicated process that requires difficult calculations, as well as careful monitoring. Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to avoid risks when administering anesthesia, as some negative reactions are unavoidable. For this reason, patients who undergo procedures that require the use of anesthesia are required to consent to certain risks. However, this consent does not cover errors made through an anesthesiologist’s negligent or reckless conduct, as these individuals are required to comply with specific procedures. In most cases, an injury caused by anesthesia error can be linked to one of the following causes:
- Administering an improper amount of anesthesia;
- Improperly intubating a patient;
- Administering an incorrect drug; or
- Failing to monitor a patient’s oxygen intake, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, body temperature, or fluid balance during the procedure.
These types of errors, which are avoidable, can cause patients to suffer a wide range of symptoms, including not only dizziness and blurred vision, but also brain damage or injury to the spinal cord.
Call Our Office Today for Assistance
Please contact Masterson, Hoag & Smith, P.A. at 727-325-2696 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced and compassionate St. Petersburg medical malpractice lawyer who can explain your legal options.