Putting faith in your doctor may be difficult for many patients. When you need surgery or other procedures, you may need to put your trust in multiple physicians and other healthcare professionals, including an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist. In most cases, there is a risk of some residual effects from the drugs used to render patients unconscious and keep them from feeling the pain of surgical procedures, but many drastic effects or serious injuries can occur if anesthesia is improperly administered.
If you were the victim of medical malpractice involving anesthesia or you lost a loved one to improper anesthesia during a surgical procedure in Florida, call Miami anesthesia death, malpractice, and injury attorney Prosper Shaked. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA fight for victims of medical malpractice and other injuries, working to get them the compensation they need. For a free legal consultation on your anesthesia malpractice case, call the Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA at (305) 694-2676.
Types of Injuries from Anesthesia
Anesthesia is used in thousands of medical procedures. There are two broad types of anesthesia commonly used for surgery and other medical procedures: local anesthesia, which is used to numb a certain area for a procedure, and general anesthesia, which is used to put the patient to sleep during a procedure. Both types of anesthesia use powerful narcotics and other drugs to accomplish the following goals:
- Stopping patient movement
- Putting the patient to sleep so they do not see or experience the procedure
- Stopping the patient from feeling the procedure
Typically, anesthesia is administered by doctors or nurses specifically trained in the use of anesthesia, called anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists. These medical professionals are trained in using the right amount and type of anesthesia for the patient and for the procedure. If these individuals make mistakes using anesthesia, some of the following injuries and other results could occur:
If a patient is put under general anesthesia and the drugs used were too powerful or too much of the drugs was administered, the patient could die. If the doctors are unable to bring the patient back up from anesthesia, their heart rate could slow to dangerous levels and they could pass away during the procedure. This is a risk in most procedures, but it typically occurs because of negligent care.
If the doctor or nurse improperly administers anesthesia, they may be unable to bring the patient back. In cases where this does not result in death, it may result in a persistent vegetative state. If the patient did not receive proper oxygen or their heart rate slows too dangerous levels while under anesthesia, they may suffer brain damage from the lack of oxygen or other health problems that could result in a vegetative state. Many vegetative states ultimately end in death or brain death but involve far more suffering because of their prolonged nature.
Anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists are trained to use enough of the drugs to put the patient under with general anesthesia or properly numb the area with local anesthesia. If they fail to use enough medication or the patient processes the medication through their system too quickly, the anesthesia could stop numbing the pain. This could result in the patient feeling the procedure, which may mean feeling the cutting, poking, or other trauma. This kind of injury can cause intense pain and suffering and may result in serious emotional distress.
Waking Up During Surgery
Another consequence of improper anesthesia occurs when the patient wakes up during surgery. General anesthesia is used not only to stop the patient from feeling pain but also to stop the patient from moving and from seeing the surgery. In some cases, improper anesthesia may cause the victim to wake up, but it may not allow them to feel the injury. If the patient can see and feel the surgery, it can be torture to the patient that can result in intense suffering and emotional distress. Even if the victim cannot feel the surgery or move their body, they may still suffer from distress while they are unable to move or react to the surgery going on around them, which can also result in severe mental anguish and emotional distress.
Suing for Anesthesia Errors in Florida
Victims of anesthesia errors can often sue on behalf of themselves or a deceased loved one. In any lawsuit for medical injuries, there are processes that need to be followed, such as notifying the healthcare provider about the lawsuit and filing the case with the court. Your attorney can help with these aspects.
During the case, your attorney may have you testify in court or testify in depositions as to what happened during your procedure, what you remember, how you felt, and how the harm of the procedure affected you going forward. They may also depose the medical professionals responsible for your injuries and other witnesses. Medical records and testimony from the healthcare provider are often essential in wrongful death cases involving negligent anesthesia.
Ultimately, you may be entitled to substantial damages in your injury case. Any additional medical expenses or lost wages resulting from the negligent care can lead to damages, as can the physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress of the incident. These kinds of anesthesia cases are often very traumatic and may result in very high damages.
Call Our Miami Anesthesia Negligence Lawyer for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or a loved one was the victim of negligent anesthesia during a surgical procedure, dental procedure, or another medical procedure, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today. Our Miami anesthesia death and injury malpractice attorney may be able to represent you and help you seek compensation from the negligent doctors, nurses, and hospitals that committed anesthesia errors in your case. For a free, confidential legal consultation with our attorney, call our office today at (305) 694-2676.