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Cochran Firm Blog, Philadelphia

Common Anesthesia Errors That Can Lead To Medical Malpractice

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We depend greatly on doctors and medical professionals to do the best job they can. But, even the most trusted healthcare professionals make mistakes. Medical malpractice is an issue that is far too common these days. Anesthesia is essential to prevent patients from feeling any pain during medical procedures. However, when anesthesia errors occur due to a medical professional’s negligence or a preventable mistake, it may lead to a medical malpractice case.

Types of Anesthesia

Under general anesthesia, you are completely unconscious and unable to feel pain during medical procedures.

Regional anesthesia is a form of anesthesia in which only a part of the body is anesthetized. You remain awake, but do not feel or see the actual surgery taking place.

In local anesthesia, the anesthetic drug is usually injected into the tissue to numb just the specific location of your body requiring minor surgery.

Anesthesia errors can occur during surgeries when:

  • Too much or too little anesthesia is administered
  • Delivery of anesthesia is delayed
  • Failure to properly administer oxygen during surgery
  • Failure to properly monitor the patient
  • Use of defective medical equipment during sedation

Anesthesia Awareness

One of the most horrific anesthesia accidents is the administration of too little or delayed anesthesia resulting in awareness, waking up, and/or the ability to feel pain during surgery.

During “anesthesia awareness” the patient is paralyzed and cannot move nor speak. The patient may experience extreme pain, the inability to breathe, and extreme terror. Anesthesia awareness can lead to long-term psychological and emotional damage.

Effects of these Errors

The consequences of anesthesia malpractice can range from mild to severe. Damage to the brain, heart, or other organs is a substantial risk of anesthesia errors. A patient can also suffer complications caused by an inadequate supply of oxygen, called hypoxia. Milder problems caused by anesthesia errors can be confusion, blurred vision, and an abnormal heart rate. Patients could also suffer spinal cord injuries.

At The Cochran Firm Philadelphia, our malpractice attorneys have extensive experience protecting the rights of patients who suffer serious injuries as a result of medical negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered from anesthesia errors as a result from medical malpractice, The Cochran Firm Philadelphia can help.