Anesthesia is a modern marvel. Local anesthesia can numb a specific area, whereas general anesthesia can put someone completely under so that they are unconscious. Anesthesia is also used during major surgery and it makes it possible to perform types of surgery that simply couldn’t have been done before.
Unfortunately, general anesthesia – in particular – also comes with some serious risks. In some cases, the “mere” use of it can even be fatal and may result in a wrongful death scenario.
Administering too much anesthesia
First and foremost, doctors need to be very careful to give a patient the proper amount of anesthesia. There’s a balance that has to be struck. It must be enough that the patient can’t feel anything and will not wake up during surgery. But it cannot be too much, or that could have fatal ramifications. Finding the right balance is the key for an anesthesiologist.
Failing to monitor the patient
Another potential issue could be if providers don’t monitor a patient correctly. Some patients have breathing problems. Others will have their oxygen levels drop. When a patient is under, an anesthesiologist must monitor their vitals and ensure that they are still healthy. If the anesthesiologist makes a mistake or is neglectful and simply doesn’t monitor a patient’s vitals properly, that could also be fatal.
Not considering risk factors
Finally, before using anesthesia, the hospital needs to determine if there are any significant risk factors. For example, some people have a condition called malignant hyperthermia. This can lead to a fever, muscle contractions and even death if someone is given anesthesia. If a patient has indicated on their records that they have malignant hyperthermia and the doctor doesn’t check in advance, or mixes up the records with someone else, there could be very serious ramifications.
What options do family members have?
Have you lost a family member due to an anesthesia error? If you have, you need to know about all the legal options you have available to seek financial compensation for medical bills, lost earning potential, loss of consortium and many other potential damages your family has suffered. Seeking legal guidance is likely your best first step forward.