The use of anesthesia across America's operating rooms is common–place. The administration of anesthesia allows physicians to place a patient into an unconscious or semi–conscious state so that a surgical procedure can take place without exposing the patient to pain. As with most medical procedures, however, serious mistakes can occur during the administration of anesthesia. Because anesthesia is designed to "affect" the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) during a surgery, when errors occur, the results can be devastating to the patient, including but not limited to: loss of motor function (walking, moving arms/legs); paralysis; nerve damage, loss of vision, brain damage, and even death. In today's highly specialized medical community, the administration of anesthesia is no longer only occurring in hospitals, but rather, routinely takes place in physician's offices, outpatient centers, dental offices or cosmetic surgery clinics, to name a few. This frequency increases the chances of potential errors. Some common types of anesthesia errors include: failure to monitor the condition/vital signs of a patient who has been placed under anesthetic, improper placement of breathing tubes that causes physical injury to throat or lungs; improper placement of breathing tubes that prevents an adequate flow of oxygen to the brain, resulting in brain damage; inadequate anesthetic levels that cause a patient to awaken during surgery and/or feel conscious pain; improper positioning of a patient under anesthetic that results in disabling nerve or muscle injuries; allergic reactions to anesthetic drugs; and the use of improperly functioning anesthetic equipment.
As experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice attorneys, we understand that anesthesia error cases are among the most difficult to prove because the patient/client is generally unconscious during the procedure, the cases depend heavily on an interpretation of the medical records and a number of different health care providers are responsible for monitoring an anesthetized patient. Nevertheless, we have a proven track record of successfully resolving and/or obtaining a favorable trial verdict in medical malpractice cases involving anesthesia errors. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a anesthesia error, call the lawyers at STSW for a free consultation.