Anesthesia, the blocking of pain in patients during medical care, traces its history to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Historically, anesthesia was not always effective. The 16th century physician Fallopius said, "When soporifics are weak, they are useless, and when strong, they kill.” Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since the 16th century. Today only one out of every 10,000 patients dies from anesthesia. Unfortunately, if that one is your loved one, the statistics aren’t comforting.
Today anesthesia is a necessary part of many surgeries. It is usually administered by a doctor who is especially trained to give the proper dose and monitor the patient for adverse effects, including medication reactions.
When an anesthesiologist improperly administers anesthesia, fails to carefully monitor the patient, or fails to recognize potential complications, anesthesia injuries may result. Anesthesia injuries may include:
- Intubation injuries
- Heart attack
- Nerve damage
- Collapsed lung
- Loss of body function
- Brain injury
Causes of anesthesia injury include:
- Failure to inform the patient of risks associated with surgery
- Failure to review patient history
- Administering the wrong dose or an overdose
- Delayed anesthesia delivery
- Failure to monitor or maintain a patient’s vital signs
- Leaving a sedated patient unattended
- Failure to recognize medical complications
- Improper intubation of patient
- Use of defective equipment
- Improper administration of oxygen during surgery
- Allowing oxygen to get too close to hot surgical equipment
- Turning off the alarm on the pulse oximeter
- Drug or alcohol use by a medical provider
Although there are risks to every type of surgery, you should never assume that anesthesia error is a surgical risk. If you were injured during a surgical procedure, it is important that you discuss your case with a Wisconsin personal injury attorney. The attorney will be able to determine if your injury was caused by negligence and if you have a Wisconsin medical malpractice claim.
If you would like to discuss an anesthesia injury to yourself or a loved one, contact the Wisconsin personal injury lawyers at Hupy and Abraham by calling 800-800-5678. The initial consultation is free.