When a patient undergoes a surgical procedure, anesthesia will be administered to put them in a sleep-like state. Before doing so, however, the health care provider ought to let the patient understand the risks involved. While anesthesia is generally safe thanks to advances in medical technology, mistakes still happen.
Anesthesia mistakes can lead to serious injuries. If you or a loved one sustains an anesthesia-related injury, you may pursue the healthcare provider or hospital for damages through a medical malpractice claim. But how do anesthesia injuries happen?
Here are three ways an anesthesiologist’s mistakes can lead to patient injury:
1. When they fail to monitor the patient’s response
Besides administering anesthesia, the anesthesiologist is responsible for monitoring and regulating the patient’s oxygen level, heart rate as well as level of unconsciousness. A failure to carry out these tasks can put the patient at risk of organ damage or even death.
2. When they fail to intubate
To ensure that the patient’s body receives adequate oxygen supply during the surgery, the anesthesiologist must perform intubation to keep the airway working. A failure to intubate can put the patient in serious danger of sustaining a range of injuries including cardiovascular, trachea, tongue, teeth and larynx injuries.
3. When they administer the wrong dosage
It is the anesthesiologist’s job to administer the right anesthesia dosage to the patient – not too much and not too little either. Anesthesia underdose can result in the patient waking up before the end of the procedure leading to serious pain. An overdose, on the other hand, can extend the patient’s period of unconsciousness leading to brain damage or even a coma.
Anesthesia mistakes can be deadly. If negligence played a role in the anesthesiologist’s mistake, leading to injuries or even death, you need to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible party.