Anesthesia is a critical part of surgeries performed every day, and some procedures would not be possible without it. Administering anesthesia is a complex process that presents numerous risks and the potential for injury.

When anesthesia errors happen, the results can be catastrophic, including brain damage, paralysis, and death. Injured patients may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim to recover financial compensation for the harm caused by anesthesia errors. If you’re unsure whether your injury was caused by malpractice, contact the attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC. We are happy to listen to the details of your case and help you determine if a medical malpractice claim is an option for you.

Common Anesthesia Errors

There are three types of anesthesia: local, regional, and general. Injuries can vary widely depending on the type of anesthesia a patient receives.

Local and regional anesthesia do not alter a patient’s consciousness; they only numb a part of the body. General anesthesia is used for major procedures and puts the patient to sleep so they do not feel the pain of the surgery.

Anesthesiologists, the doctors who administer anesthesia, along with surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals sometimes make mistakes that lead to patient injury. Some examples of anesthesia errors include:

  • Administering the wrong amount of anesthesia
  • Improperly intubating the patient
  • Failing to properly monitor vital signs
  • Administering the wrong type of anesthesia
  • Using faulty equipment
  • Not communicating the patient’s status
  • Failing to properly review a patient’s medical history

If the wrong amount of anesthesia is administered, the consequences can be devastating. Too little anesthesia can lead to anesthesia awareness in which the patient can feel the pain of the surgery but cannot move or communicate. Not having enough anesthesia can also cause the patient to fully wake up during the surgery. Administering too much anesthesia can lead to brain damage or death.

Mistakes with intubation, when a tube is inserted into the airway to help the patient breathe, can cause a dangerous lack of oxygen. Anesthesia errors can happen before, during, or after a surgical procedure, and everyone involved in this process must exercise proper care to prevent injuries to the patient. Any mistake involving anesthesia has the potential to be life-threatening; the risks cannot be overstated.

Anesthesia Errors and Medical Malpractice in Connecticut

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider or medical practitioner fails to uphold their duty of care, and a patient is harmed because of that negligence. It is a broad category and can apply to nurses, doctors, medical technicians, and hospitals themselves. Anesthesiologists and other medical professionals involved in the administration of anesthesia can be liable for medical malpractice if their actions or inaction cause harm to a patient.

To establish medical malpractice, there must generally be four components present:

  • A duty of care between the medical professional and the patient
  • The professional’s failure to uphold that duty of care
  • A direct causation between the breach of duty and injury to the patient
  • The patient’s damages that resulted from the professional’s negligence

It is crucial for anesthesiologists and other healthcare practitioners to meet the appropriate standard of care to avoid injuring patients. Errors and negligence can mean the patient has the right to seek compensation for the damage they’ve suffered.

Anesthesia errors can result in injuries and long-lasting complications such as sensory issues, confusion, brain injury, birth injuries, seizures, stroke, paralysis, and coma.

If you or a loved one experienced injuries as a result of an anesthesia mistake, the attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC, are here to help. We understand that financial recovery is only one part of your overall healing process after a devastating injury, but it can be a vital component that allows you to focus your energy on your physical and emotional well-being.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.