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What Can Happen When Anesthesia Isn’t Properly Monitored?

IV bag

Some surgeries require the patient to go under anesthesia so that they aren’t awake when the operation is performed. This practice is common, and so most surgical teams are prepared to handle this scenario. Anesthesiologists are the medical professionals who handle the anesthesia and determine how much should be used, what is necessary for this specific patient, and monitoring its use during surgery.

If anesthesia isn’t properly monitored, then mistakes can happen and harm the patient. These mistakes fall under medical malpractice and could lead to you taking legal action against the medical professional who caused your injuries and damages. An experienced med mal lawyer from Madia Law LLC can help you hold the negligent healthcare worker accountable for their actions and get you compensation for your damages.

Improperly Monitored Anesthesia

When a patient’s anesthesia isn’t administered or monitored correctly during their surgery, there could be complications that result in physical or emotional injuries for the patient. In the worst-case scenario, a patient could even die from the error. That’s why it’s so important for an anesthesiologist to properly administer and monitor the medication to their patients.

According to an article published by the journal Sensors, monitoring the depth of general anesthesia is one of the biggest challenges in medicine because it is so individual to each patient. Here are some of the effects that improperly monitored anesthesia can have on a patient:

  • Allergic Reaction. If a patient’s allergies aren’t fully charted or reported, then they could have an allergic reaction to the anesthesia that could be dangerous. Depending on the other drugs administered with the anesthetic, there could be interactions that weren’t foreseen and be dangerous for the patient.
  • Wake Up During Surgery. If the patient is underdosed, they could end up waking up during surgery. Patients who report this often suffer from PTSD and other emotional trauma because they are awake but cannot move or speak to alert the doctors that they are awake during the procedure.
  • Low Heart Rate. Overdosage is another problem that could happen. Since anesthesia lowers your heart rate, if too much is administered too quickly, or not leveled out over time, then the patient’s heart rate could fall too low. A low heart rate leads to further complications listed below.
  • Blood Pressure. If the blood pressure falls too low because of the heart rate and overdose of general anesthetic, then limbs and important organs could not be getting enough blood in them during the surgery.
  • Oxygenation. Without enough blood, the organs and brain might not be getting enough oxygen either. Our bodies need oxygen to survive, so when our organs don’t get the amount that they need, they could start to fail and cause damage to the patient.

All of these signs listed above could prove fatal for the patient. That’s why it’s essential for an anesthesiologist or anesthesia technician to monitor their patient’s vital signs throughout a surgery and fully examine their relevant medical history when determining the proper dosage.

To better understand what an anesthesiologist does and how these mistakes can be made, let’s take a look at the expectations for that profession.

Expectations of an Anesthesiologist

The medical professional who handles anesthesia for patients is an anesthesiologist. This is a very important and high-risk job because they are responsible for putting a patient under for a surgery or other procedure. If they don’t do their job correctly, many serious complications can happen, and a patient could end up suffering exponentially.

Here’s what an anesthesiologist is expected to do on a general basis:

  • Administer general anesthesia prior to, during, and after surgery.
  • Administering local anesthetics or sedatives.
  • Monitor patient’s status prior to, during, and after administering the anesthetic.
  • Recording the type and amount of anesthesia used.
  • Recording the patient’s status and any complications.
  • Preparing patients for emergency surgery.
  • Consult the patient’s medical history to determine what type and how much to use, as well as run tests to help determine the type and amount as well.
  • Coordinating continued release and administration of anesthetic during surgery.

There are many other things that an anesthesiologist does on a daily basis, but these are their most basic expectations in their field. That’s why it’s so dangerous when they make mistakes—their patients rely on them for comfort during a medical procedure. If the patient is not comfortable, it can make their surgery incredibly traumatic or worse.

Our Med Mal Lawyer Can Help You

If you’ve experienced problems with anesthesia, it’s likely that you had intense physical or emotional pain from the complications. These can sometimes be worse than the pain you felt from your initial injury or typical after-surgery pain. You might even suffer from PTSD for the rest of your life if you woke up during the procedure.

Our medical malpractice lawyer from Madia Law LLC is experienced in these types of cases and understands how vulnerable you can feel after an injury caused by a medical professional. You can trust us to fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve for your damages. Contact our office today so we can determine the best course of legal action for you moving forward.