Anesthesia Complications and Injuries
There are four major types of anesthesia general, spinal, regional, and local. There is also a related form of deep sedation called “conscious sedation.” Spinal anesthesia (sometimes called epidural) is generally used for surgery involving the lower body, abdomen or pelvis. It is also often used to minimize a mother’s pain during labor. Regional anesthesia (sometimes called “nerve blocks”) involves injecting anesthetic drugs near a nerve to temporarily block the nerve’s ability to transmit pain signals to the brain. One common type of nerve block is the anesthesia given by dentists. Local anesthesia usually involves numbing the skin and subcutaneous tissues only. Conscious sedation is commonly used in procedures like colonoscopies and is rarely administered by specialists in anesthesiology and consequently has a higher number of complications. If not done right, each of these types of anesthesia can cause serious injury. For example, anesthesia complications can cause long-term coma and brain damage. Some victims of a bad reaction to anesthesia enter into a persistent vegetative state (brain death).
Contact Cirignani Heller & Harman LLP, for a free attorney consultation. Our anesthesia injury lawyers are dedicated to helping clients through the horrendous after effects of anesthesia malpractice.
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If you wonder if your family member was a victim of anesthesia complications, contact our firm to discuss the circumstances. Unfortunately we cannot reverse time and undo the damage done, but we can at least help you recover compensation so that you or your loved one can be properly cared for.
Types of Anesthesia Complications
Anesthesia complications arise in a number of different situations. Some are caused by the anesthesiologists. Others occur when other healthcare providers are negligent. Listed below are just a few of the things that can go wrong:
- Failure to seek informed consent for anesthesia
- When using general anesthesia the doctor (or sometimes a nurse) must breathe for the patient. It is negligence when a doctor fails to make sure the patient is breathing (or otherwise getting enough oxygen) during anesthesia.
- When using spinal anesthesia, using the wrong drug, the wrong concentration of a drug, or using the wrong amount of a drug is negligent. It can also be negligent when a patient bleeds into the spinal canal (bleeding can cause paralysis).
- When using regional anesthesia injuries can occur if the doctor negligently puts the needle directly into the nerve.
- When using local anesthesia complications are rare, but include allergic reactions to the local anesthetic and skin damage by use of the wrong local anesthetic.
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