When surgery is a possible treatment option or necessity due to their medical condition, that surgery is usually done under anesthesia. There are three main types of anesthesia; local, regional, and general. All these types are intended to alleviate pain and numb the area that surgery is being done on. It is important that medical professional get their decisions regarding the type and dosage of anesthesia correct, as miscalculations of any kind can potentially lead to a anesthesia malpractice charge.
Local anesthesia is the safest option. Only a small area is numbed while a surgical or other medical procedure is done. These are given by an injection, and sometimes even topically for minor same day operations. The anesthetic does not enter into the bloodstream, so the effects can wear off quickly. When it is believed that a local anesthetic will not be enough, the anesthesiologist may administer a regional anesthetic, which is injected into the nerves to numb a larger area of the body. Lastly, a general anesthetic is what many people think of when they consider anesthesia. This is the type that causes the patient to lose consciousness as well as feeling in the area where a procedure is being done. General anesthesia is usually either inhaled, or administered intravenously. Major operations usually require general anesthesia, and it is this reason that brings the largest potential for problems with the procedure or the administration of the anesthesia. Some people are at a higher risk than others when it comes to side effects. For example, elderly people, people who are obese, those with diabetes or blood pressure problems and those with medical conditions that involve the kidneys, heart or lungs are more likely to experience problems than most people. In these cases, medical professionals have to be even more careful to assure that the procedure is necessary, and may find a way to undergo a less invasive option.
Preparing for Anesthesia
Before a patient is anesthetized, the anesthesiologist should interview them to assure that potential obstacles and side effects are kept to a minimum. This is normally done via a pre-op interview. Here, the patient should be asked questions about what types of medications, including herbal medications they should be taking. They should include both prescription and over the counter medications. They should also ask about previous adverse reaction to anesthesia. They should use the knowledge they gain along with close monitoring to determine an appropriate dosage. When serious side effects occur, and there are no precautions taken, this may be a cause for a medical malpractice case centered around anesthesia.
When someone has anesthesia many things can go wrong if the medical protocol is not followed. The patient may fail to get the right dosage, resulting in whether too much or not enough medication is being administered. This can be trying on the patient and may even cause undo complications. Some patients are allergic and other alternative need to be examined. Anesthesiologists should have sufficient training and communication with patients to deal with side effects that may occur due to chronic medical conditions.
One of the biggest problems occurs during surgery in anesthesia awareness. In these cases the patient is able to feel pain from an operation, but is unable to communicate this to the medical team performing the operation. This condition is particular prompts many case of anesthesia malpractice due to a failure in dosage and monitoring.
The decision to move forward with a surgical procedure is something that should be carefully considered, and not taken lightly. The medical team should be prepared throughout the process. Just as successful surgery can share be life changing, so can an anesthesia error.
If you suffered an adverse reaction to anesthesia, or had other issues with an anesthesiologists failure to do his job as he should, it may be time to talk to a lawyer about anesthesia malpractice. The medical field is a chaotic one, and it is not unusual for mistakes to be made. When they are, it is important that patients have legal help so that they can receive compensation for these mistakes. If your life has been affected, a medical malpractice lawyer may be able to review your options with you to help you move forward with your life.