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The Risks Associated with Anesthesia Errors: Chicago Attorneys Discuss

Chicago medical malpractice attorneyAnesthesia allows patients to undergo surgery without feeling pain or even having any recollection of the procedure. But if not administered correctly, anesthesia may either be ineffective or result in adverse health complications.

According to Very Well Health, there are four types of anesthesia:

  • General Anesthesia: This is considered the most potent type of anesthesia and most commonly used during surgery.
  • Regional Anesthesia: Unlike a general anesthesia, only the area being operated on is numbed. This procedure is often used during C-sections.
  • Local Anesthesia: This type of anesthesia pinpoints a small area and allows patients to remain alert and aware.
  • Monitored Anesthesia Care: This type of anesthesia is most commonly used during outpatient procedures, when a patient will most likely be discharged after the effects wear off.

Anesthesia is about more than just keeping patients comfortable and pain-free – it's an essential part of many medical procedures. When anesthesia doesn’t work properly, serious health complications can occur.

Adverse health complications

Over the course of his or her career, an anesthesiologist may administer nearly half a million doses of drugs. It is critically important that medical providers take care to avoid any errors that could pose a hazard to the patient’s health. Such errors could include administering the wrong medication, mixing drugs incorrectly, injecting drugs in the wrong site, and improperly monitoring a patient during surgery.

After anesthesia, it is commonplace for patients to experience nausea/vomiting, sore throat, dry mouth, chills, drowsiness, muscle pain, and itching. Anything beyond that could be a sign of something far more serious.

When used excessively, anesthesia can result in difficulty urinating by numbing or paralyzing the bladder. In many cases, patients will need to have a urinary catheter inserted, which clears urine from the bladder. Sometimes, the bladder can be compromised enough that a patient will require additional medical procedures.

Other complications that can arise from anesthesia include:

  • Pneumonia: Anesthesia shuts off the muscles involved in breathing and ensuring that oxygen goes down the correct pipe. The procedure often forces breathing through a tube. When patients aren’t conscious of what is going into their lungs, they can accidentally breathe in harmful objects and particles. This can lead to pneumonia, a serious respiratory illness that compromises the lungs.
  • Malignant hyperthermia: This condition is usually genetic, but a reaction triggered by an anesthesia can result in potentially fatal complications. If not promptly treated, a patient may experience a high fever and muscle contractions that can cause organs to fail. This can often be prevented by testing a patient for malignant hyperthermia before administering an anesthesia.

Was your health compromised by an anesthesia? Take action now!

Before a patient undergoes surgery, they should be screened for inherent health conditions and medication use in order to mitigate the risk of an adverse reaction to anesthesia. Doctors should also carefully monitor the dosage and impact of anesthesia on a patient.

When it comes to the health and safety of surgery patients, there is no room for error. When medical professionals fail to pay attention to small details and ensure that patients are receiving the best care, they should be held accountable.

If you or a loved one suffered adverse health complications because of a medical error, don’t hesitate to act. An experienced medical malpractice attorney at the Deratany Firm can help you pursue a solid claim. Contact us today to learn more.

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