Complications of General Anesthesia
Anesthesia makes many types of painful medical procedures easier to endure. But medication errors and complications of anesthesia can cause serious injury to a patient, cause a heart attack or stroke or cause other serious adverse reactions. You may suspect that you or a loved one has experienced serious side effects of anesthesia.
Unfortunately, your doctor will not usually admit that you have been the victim of substandard care or harmed by a preventable anesthesia complication. You’ll need help to get reliable answers to your questions.
The Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys at Baker & Gilchrist help people who have been harmed by anesthesia complications. We work with licensed doctors and medical professionals to evaluate whether a patient was harmed by improper administration of anesthesia.
Unlike many law firms, we do not charge a fee for having medical experts review your records. It’s part of the personalized service we provide our clients.
Call us today or use our online contact form to have us review your case free of charge.
How Do Anesthesia Complications Occur?
All anesthesiologists and registered nurse anesthetists have a medical duty to ensure that every precaution is taken to prevent patients in their care from experiencing anesthesia complications. They must follow the recognized standard of care. Unfortunately medication errors do occur. Many preventable anesthesia complications happen because a patient isn’t properly evaluated before a procedure or carefully monitored afterward.
Generally speaking, there are four kinds of anesthesia:
- General Anesthesia produces unconsciousness and affects your whole body. Serious complications of general anesthesia include heart attack, stroke and malignant hyperthermia, a muscle disease that can be triggered by some anesthetic medications.
- Regional anesthesia affects a portion of your body. Examples of regional anesthesia include spinal anesthesia, epidural anesthesia and nerve blocks. Regional anesthesia is often used during childbirth, gynecological procedures and surgical procedures on a hand, foot or limb.
- Local anesthesia medications are used in many dental procedures, diagnostic tests and some surgeries. They do not cause unconsciousness and are less risky than general anesthesia.
- Conscious sedation medications may be given in addition to local anesthesia to relax you during a procedure and block memory.
- Local numbing agents allow you to remain awake and alert while deadening feeling in a small area of your body.
Some patients can also have an anesthesia allergy. If a doctor fails to take a thorough medical history or carefully monitor vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels, after administering medication, the patient may suffer serious adverse reaction to a medication. Doctors or nurses may fail to respond promptly to a patient’s distress. Anesthesia complications may occur in a hospital, an ambulatory surgery center, a birthing center, a doctor’s office or a dentist’s office.
Can Doctors Prevent Anesthesia Errors?
Doctors who take the necessary time to perform a thorough evaluation, take a complete medical history and monitor the patient closely before, during and after surgery can avoid many preventable mistakes. Medical professionals who try to cut corners or fail to monitor a patient may be liable for negligence for anesthesia complications.
Proving medical malpractice occurred as a result of an anesthesia complication is complex and requires a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney. As specified in the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act, a panel of health care providers must review proposed medication-error malpractice claims before they can be filed as a malpractice lawsuit in court. The health care panel issues an opinion as to whether the evidence supports the conclusion that the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist failed to follow the appropriate standard of care and caused a preventable complication.
Contact an Anesthesia Errors Lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana
The Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys at Baker & Gilchrist are experienced at investigating medical malpractice cases involving anesthesia. If you suspect that you or a loved one has been harmed due to anesthesia errors, call us today. You can also use our online contact form to have us review your case free of charge.
With over 60 years of combined litigation experience, Rex Baker and Caroline A. Gilchrist have the legal skill and experience to hold accountable health care providers that injure patients through medication errors.