An anesthesiologist is a physician who administers medications to depress particular aspects of the nervous system so that patients who are undergoing complex procedures do not experience pain. Unfortunately, anesthesia errors may cause serious personal injury or even death. Familiarize yourself with this area of medical malpractice by reviewing how these common mistakes made by an anesthesiologist can affect you.
During a surgery or complicated procedure, an anesthesiologist is the doctor responsible for putting a patient “to sleep,” or regulating her consciousness to ensure that she feels no pain. But if a physician’s error or negligence causes a patient to feel pain, awaken during the procedure, or even die, the physician may have committed medical malpractice. Common doctor’s errors include miscalculated doses of anesthesia, delayed delivery of the drug, failure to properly monitor a patient, leaving a patient unattended, improperly administering oxygen during surgery, or dangerously prolonging sedation. Errors may also occur due to defective equipment.
Anesthesia errors may result in a wide range of personal injuries, including tracheal damage, cardiovascular injuries such as heart attack or stroke, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, or a lack of adequate oxygen supply. Anesthesia errors may also cause loss of certain bodily functions and can result in coma or even death.
The loss of a family member due to medical malpractice by an anesthesiologist is emotionally and financially devastating. If a loved one wakes up during surgery, she may be both physically injured and emotionally traumatized. Many patients who experience anesthesia awareness develop post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, or problems sleeping, and may need to miss work and lose compensation.
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