Anesthesia is an important part of many medical procedures, especially surgery. While most uses of anesthesia are uneventful, there are some potential accidents that can occur and result in a wide range of different injuries. Types of accidents can range from failing to understand a patient’s medical history to improperly applying the anesthesia during a procedure.
Somewhat surprisingly, the most common injury that occurs as a result of an anesthesia accident is actually tooth damage. One of the more important aspects of an anesthesiologist’s job is intubating a patient, which is the insertion of a tube down the trachea so that the patient can continue breathing. When intubation is done improperly, the tube can chip or damage a patient’s teeth during the procedure. While this may not be a serious health risk, it is still an injury for which the anesthesiologist and NYC hospital can be liable.
Death is an all-too-common result of improper anesthesia during an operation. Too much anesthesia can result in a coma or may be fatal. During surgery, the anesthesiologist is also responsible for monitoring oxygen levels in a patient’s blood. If this is not done properly, the patient can end up dying due to lack of oxygen. Death can also occur due to other complications that develop during surgery and are not recognized properly.
Nerve damage is also a common injury that occurs due to anesthesia accidents. This includes physical nerve damage that can be the result of an anesthesiologist failing to properly move a patient throughout surgery, which leads to excess strain on certain parts of the body. If the wrong anesthesia is used, or improper amounts are used, then nerve damage can also occur. Permanent brain damage can occur if a patient’s oxygen levels become too low during surgery.
Organ damage, including cardiac arrest, can occur as the result of anesthesia accident. If the anesthesiologist does not properly research a patient’s medical history, and the wrong type of anesthesia is used, then organ damage can occur. Cardiac arrest during surgery may be the result of improper oxygen levels in a patient, or due to a dangerous side effect from the wrong anesthesia.
Perhaps one of the most frightening injuries is the sensation of pain during surgery. If an inadequate amount of anesthesia is used, then the patient may be able to feel some pain during surgery. There are rare cases in which patients experience “anesthesia awareness,” in which they become conscious during surgery and are aware of what is happening to them, but cannot move or react. This can result in post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders, and other psychological issues. Let Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, help you or a loved one who has suffered from an injury resulting from a New York anesthesia accident, call us at (212) 986-7353 today to protect your rights.