Medical malpractice cases involve a wide range of potential mistakes, from improper diagnoses to prescription errors. Some of the most frightening and heartrending cases involve surgical errors, especially considering the trust we place in surgeons to protect patients while they are being operated on.
The lawyers at Foley Law Firm have helped countless patients and their loved ones following surgical errors in the greater Scranton, PA region. We’d like to focus on anesthesia errors during surgery. These kinds of lawsuits hold anesthesiologists accountable for mistakes that can have lifelong consequences.
Anesthesia Awareness: Too Little Anesthesia
Anesthesia awareness is one of the most horrifying and traumatizing types of anesthesia mistakes. It occurs when too little anesthesia is administered to a patient. The patient becomes conscious in the middle of surgery, but is paralyzed and unable to speak.
In some instances, the patient hears conversations in the operating room. Patients might even experience severe pain as the procedure is being performed, yet are totally unable to stop the surgeons from what they are doing.
Issues with Too Much Anesthesia
On the reverse side of anesthesia awareness, it’s possible for anesthesiologists to administer too much anesthesia. When too much anesthesia is administered, this can result in long-term issues with nausea, problems with coordination, issues with mental cognition, respiratory problems, hallucinations, seizures, and mental impairment.
In some catastrophic cases of too much anesthesia being administered, patients may fall into a coma or suffer severe brain damage.
Failure to Intubate Patients
Intubation helps patients breathe properly while a surgical procedure is being performed. Failure to properly intubate a patient can lead to major injuries as well as complications during the surgical procedure.
Negligent Monitoring of Patients
A patient’s vital signs must be monitored carefully when anesthesia is administered and while a surgery is being performed. Anesthesiologists can also monitor the patient’s oxygen intake and level of consciousness. Poor monitoring is a sign of negligence.
Poor Communication with Surgical Team
Communication is key during any kind of surgical procedure. Failures in communication could increase the potential risks and dangers of a surgical procedure. For example, an anesthesiologist may not be clear about the patients vitals with other members of a surgical team, which can result in complications, some of which might be life-threatening.
Damages Sought During Medical Malpractice Cases
When seeking a legal action against an anesthesiologist, both compensatory and punitive damages may be sought.
- Compensatory Damages - Compensatory damages are intended to cover the material losses associated with a medical injury. This might include the cost of additional medical care, the cost of counseling/therapy, emotional pain and suffering, lost wages due to injury, and so forth. In the case of fatal injuries, these damages will cover funerary costs and grief counseling.
- Punitive Damages - Punitive damages are meant to punish the negligent medical professional(s) for the mistakes that were made during a surgical procedure. The amount that is awarded can vary, but it is often determine by the egregiousness of the mistake and how much was awarded in similar cases.
Contact Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers
For more information about legal actions against surgeons and medical facilities, be sure to contact our team of medical malpractice attorneys today. A lawyer from Foley Law Firm will work with you and your loved ones in your case.