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Without anesthesia we simply would not have modern medicine as we know it today. However, anesthesia carries great risks. It must be administer with precision and great skill. That’s why we have anesthesiologists, specialists who work with surgeons, whose job is to administer anesthesia, monitor you during your surgery, and maintain the proper level of consciousness throughout your entire procedure.
Even with the precaution of having a specialist dedicated to this task, rather than the surgeon, and other staff, dividing their attention between the procedure and anesthesiology duties, errors occur far too often. These errors can have catastrophic consequences, and in some cases, can be fatal.
Negligence, resulting in anesthesia accidents, can be on the part of anesthesiologists, or other health care professionals involved in your procedure. Among the many ways that anesthesia accidents may occur, errors can originate in poor record keeping, can be caused by failure to properly evaluate a patient, or can occur during your procedure. Common anesthesia errors include:
- Failing to provide the patient with proper instructions, such as not eating or drinking prior to surgery
- Administering anesthesia to an allergic patient
- Too much anesthesia
- Harmful drug interactions with the anesthesia
- Too little anesthesia
- Delayed anesthesia delivery
- Failure to properly monitor a patient
- Failure to properly administer oxygen during surgery
- Defective medical devices used during sedation
- Inadequate product labeling
Among the many potential consequences of anesthesia overdose are coma, brain injury, and death. Anesthesia accidents can result in:
- Heart attack
- Brain injury
- Birth defects
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injury
- Awareness and/or pain during surgery
One of the most horrifying anesthesia accidents, is the administration of to little anesthesia or delayed anesthesia resulting in awareness, waking up, and/or the ability to feel pain during surgery.
During “anesthesia awareness” you are paralyzed and cannot move or communicate, but may experience extreme pain, feeling the surgery itself, the inability to breathe, and extreme terror. Anesthesia awareness can lead to long-term psychological and emotional damage, including:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sleep disorders
- Panic and anxiety disorders
- Extreme fear of doctors and medical settings, leading to the avoidance of necessary medical care
New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys Michael L. Weiss, Esq. & Robert E. Paarz, Esq. have tried anesthesia accident lawsuits to a jury and have successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of medical malpractice victims and their families. If you or a loved one has been harmed by an anesthesia accident, please contact Weiss & Paarz P.C. today.