Anesthesia Errors May Lead to Brain Damage

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California medical malpractice attorney anesthesia errors brain damageWhen you are going into surgery, a member of the medical staff, the anesthesiologist, administers medicine and typically asks you to count backward from 100. Most patients do not make it into the 80s before they are in a medically-induced coma-like state from the anesthesia. However, there is a lot more to being an anesthesiologist than strapping on a mask to a patient and verifying their counting abilities. Their responsibilities continue well past the procedure’s end. Sadly anesthesia errors are common, and if a specialist is not careful, patients can suffer serious brain injuries.

How Anesthesia Works

Before the invention of anesthesia, all operations occurred with the patient wide awake. Unfortunately, many patients died from the shock of the pain. In modern times, 60,000 patients receive general anesthesia each day. Modern anesthesia numbs the nervous system, making the patient unable to feel pain or remember the procedure, all of which are significant benefits to the patient. Anesthesia also makes the surgeon's job easier by inducing muscle paralysis to keep the patient from moving or spasming during the procedure. The benefits of anesthesia are inarguable, yet they also come with significant risks.

What an Anesthesiologist Does

An anesthesiologist is specially trained in medical school to administer proper medication to keep patients comfortably and safely asleep during an operation. They also monitor a patient’s heart rhythm, blood pressure, oxygenation, temperature, and consciousness levels during surgery. It is their job to stay with the patient from the beginning of the operation until the patient is safe and stable after the completion of the procedure and is in the postanesthesia care unit. If a problem arises during the process, it is also their job to correct the situation.

How Anesthesia Can Create Brain Damage

Recent studies using fMRI scans indicate that the brain is altered when a patient is in an anesthetic state. These medications, if misused or used negligently, can be harmful or even deadly to patients. Lasting brain injuries are possible if:

  • The dose is too high.
  • Oxygen levels remain low for too long.
  • Instability goes unrecognized.
  • The wrong medication is administered.
  • Medical staff ignores alarms.
  • Equipment is defective.
  • Resuscitation equipment was not available.

Contact a California Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury as a result of undergoing anesthesia, it is vital that you contact a Santa Clara County anesthesia malpractice attorney immediately. Hospitals and doctors have extensive insurance policies to cover injuries caused by medical negligence, but that does not mean that insurance companies are willing to admit to any error. Insurance adjusters are specially trained in diminishing the value of a case, often offering families a small amount of money even when the cost of the injuries will far exceed the payment. The attorneys at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. have experience dealing with insurance companies, and we will aggressively fight to protect your claim to earn you the compensation you both need and deserve. Call us today at 408-289-1417 to review your case in a free consultation with one of our proven and reputable attorneys.


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