Suffering injury at the hands of medical malpractice can be one of the scariest things to happen to you. You trust the expertise of medical professionals, but sometimes they fail and make mistakes.
Some of the most common medical malpractice claims are related to anesthesia. An anesthesiologist typically administers it to relieve and keep pain from a patient during a medical procedure. There are three types of anesthesia:
General – This type of anesthesia is where a patient is completely made unconscious, with no sensations or awareness of what is going on.
Regional – Regional anesthesia numbs an area of the body. The most common types are spinal and epidural, often used for childbirth.
Local – The final type of anesthesia is local, which numbs a small area of the body. This would be used for small procedures, like minor dental work or stitches.
These types of anesthesia can be used in many different circumstances. The most common instance in which malpractice comes into play, though, is during surgery. 65% of anesthesia malpractice claims are related to surgical anesthesia. Following is anesthesia used for chronic pain management, at 18% of claims, acute pain management at 9% and obstetrical anesthesia for childbirth at 8%.
Any type of anesthesia malpractice can end in injury, but especially so in larger procedures like surgery. The most common overall injuries reported in medical malpractice claims that are related to anesthesia are:
Tooth damage, at 20.8% of claims
Nerve damage, 13.5%
Organ damage, 12.7%
Cardiopulmonary arrest, 10.7%
The most serious complications that result are death, nerve injury and permanent brain damage. A mistake made while administering anesthesia can be life-changing, for you and your family.