Unfortunately, anesthesia errors are common. While some are minor, non-life threatening mistakes, others can lead to injury, paralysis and even death. Ironically, anesthesia is the very medicine used to numb pain.
Many medical malpractice cases involving anesthesia occur because of inexperience and negligence. In New Jersey, a Department of Health (NJDOH) regulation requires anesthesiologists to be present when nurse anesthetists deliver anesthesia in hospitals. Some of the more common types of anesthesia mistakes include:
- Dosage error — The correct dose of anesthesia can safely render a patient unconscious. If, however, the dosage is too high or too low, the patient may suffer unnecessary harm and/or illness.
- Delayed delivery of anesthesia — Being operated on while not fully sedated is a terrifying experience. Anesthesia can be delayed because of vaporizer leakage, IV errors, syringe-swapping troubles and other mistakes.
- Failure to monitor a patient — When a patient receives a dose of anesthesia, he or she must be carefully monitored to ensure no problems arise.
- Failure to recognize complications — Anesthesiologists must be able to detect complications. If a doctor fails to recognize a problem, the patient can suffer injury and possibly death.
- Defective equipment — Today’s hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. However, sophisticated medical devices, like the ones used to deliver anesthesia, can malfunction.
The last place you should suffer injury is at the hospital or at the hands of your doctor. When complications from wrongly administered anesthesia result in paralysis or death to you or a loved one, contact Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy.