The Serious Consequences of Anesthesia Errors

Mar 8, 2016 — by Gary Zucker
Tags: Medical Malpractice Personal Injury

Patient under the effects of anesthesiaDoctors work in specialized fields that require a great deal of training and education. Because the health and lives of individuals are directly affected by the quality of care they receive from a medical professional, there are guidelines in place to establish and ensure that all patients receive care that meets a minimal standard. If this standard of care fails to be provided (for either intentional or unintentional reasons), and the patient suffers as a result, that qualifies as a case of medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice cases can have serious consequences for patients and their loved ones, and may include long-term injuries, the need for expensive medical care, and even wrongful death. The consequences of medical malpractice are often especially serious in the case of anesthesia errors. The attorneys at ZGary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C. have experience representing cases of medical malpractice involving anesthesia errors in the Brooklyn, NY area, and can help clients fight for just compensation for damages suffered as a result of these dangerous errors.

Common Types of Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia is meant to put patients in a temporary state of unawareness so that they remain free of stress, pain, and reflexes throughout medical treatment, most commonly surgery. There are several types of anesthesia, including general anesthesia (during which the patient is rendered completely unconscious), local/regional anesthesia (which involves numbing a specific area or body part), and dissociative anesthesia (which creates a trance-like level of consciousness for patients). No matter what type of anesthesia is being offered, errors on the part of a medical professional can cause anesthesia to be either ineffective, or harmful to the patient. Below are some of the most common types of anesthesia errors:

  • Anesthesia awareness (administering too little of an anesthesia drug)
  • Administering too much of an anesthesia drug
  • Delayed administration of anesthesia drugs
  • Failure to prevent anesthesia drug interactions and/or failure to check for allergies associated with anesthesia medication
  • Failure to properly monitor the patient while they are under the effects of anesthesia

Consequences of Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors can result in any number of consequences for the patient. Below are some of the possible consequences of an anesthesia error:

  • Pain/awareness during medical treatment
  • Heart arrhythmia or abnormal pulse
  • Cardiovascular collapse
  • Brain or organ damage
  • Vein, artery, or nerve damage
  • Asphyxia due to lack of oxygen
  • Blood pressure complications
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Death

How Common Are Anesthesia Errors?

Unfortunately, anesthesia errors are not as uncommon as most would imagine. In fact, a study by Columbia University found that there are roughly 300 deaths annually that are related to anesthesia errors, with nearly half of these being the result of an overdose of anesthetic medication. As high as this number is, it does not even take into account cases in which non-fatal errors are made.

Contact Our Law Offices

If you or a loved one has suffered, or even died, as a result of an anesthesia error, you deserve compensation for the financial and emotional damages that you’ve suffered. In cases of medical malpractice involving anesthesia errors, it is important to work with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, such as those at Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C. Contact us at your earliest convenience to meet with one of our medical malpractice attorneys to discuss the details of your case.

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