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OR Errors: What Are the Risks of Anesthesia Mistakes?

November 9, 2014 R

Anesthesiologists play a key role in ensuring patient safety during a surgery or other procedure that requires anesthesia. Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to make a mistake with anesthesia, which can lead to serious medical injuries. For example, an anesthesiologist might fail to properly intubate a patient, fail to properly monitor the patient, or commit a life-threatening dosage error. Medical malpractice lawyers can help victims of anesthesia mistakes obtain compensation for their losses.

Patient with oxygen mask

Brain Damage
In the event that a patient does not receive sufficient amounts of oxygen while under anesthesia, he or she can suffer from brain damage. The extent of the brain damage depends upon the length of time that the brain was deprived of oxygen. Sometimes, it can be fatal. When patients survive this type of medical injury, they can experience significant cognitive, physical, behavioral, and perceptual deficits. Patients may have trouble processing information, speaking, and concentrating on tasks, to name only a few potential complications.

Anesthesia Awareness
Just as administering too high of a dose of anesthesia can lead to dire consequences, administering too little can lead to a complication known as anesthesia awareness. Individuals who suffer from anesthesia awareness are conscious during the surgery and they may even feel the excruciating pain from the procedure. However, because physicians administer muscle relaxants prior to surgeries, patients are unable to move, speak, or otherwise alert the surgery team. Some individuals who suffer from anesthesia awareness only have vague memories of the event afterward, while others clearly remember it. Anesthesia awareness can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The medical malpractice lawyers of Pegalis Law Group have a long, successful track record of representing the rights of medical malpractice victims in court. If you or a family member has suffered from medical injuries as a result of anesthesia mistakes, consider scheduling a consultation at our Long Island law firm. Medical malpractice victims from across the country are invited to call us at (516) 684-2900.