Anesthesia Related Injuries

Aug 26, 2008 — by Gary Zucker

We, at Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C., have had several cases involving anesthesia injuries. General anesthesia, usually given intravenously or inhaled, puts a patient to sleep during certain medical procedures, so that the patient wont feel pain or remember anything that happens during the surgery or procedure. Anesthesia is generally considered safe but errors may be made which can lead to tragic consequences for the patient. If the error could have been prevented, the physicians involved may be responsible for the patients injuries.

One of errors commonly made is the administering of the incorrect dosage of anesthesia. Before any anesthesia is given, it is essential that the anesthesiologist interview the patient to determine the type and amount of anesthesia to be administered. The physician must first obtain information from the patient including the patients age, weight, and medical history, in order to determine the appropriate amount of anesthesia to be administered.

The patient may have to be intubated, meaning a tube is placed into the trachea to breathe for the patient and to protect the patient's airway. Serious injuries may occur if the patient is incorrectly intubated or if the patient is intubated for too long a period of time. Injuries can include damage to throat structures and collapse of a lung.
The patient must be constantly and carefully monitored while under anesthesia in order to make certain that the patient is not experiencing any complications. In particular, it is important to always be aware of the patients oxygen levels and vital signs. The patients oxygen level is monitored by a machine called a pulse oximeter which will sound an alarm if the oxygen level drops too far below normal.

Many types of injuries can be caused by anesthesia errors, including damage to the trachea, lack of adequate oxygen supply, heart attacks, birth defects, loss of bodily functions, brain damage, spinal injuries, paralysis, coma and even death. Most injuries are preventable if the physician is vigilant and responds appropriately when complications occur. If you or a loved one have suffered an anesthesia injury, please contact us at

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