Anesthesia and Brain Damage
Many medical procedures require patients to be under the effects of anesthesia. Administering anesthesia is a highly technical task. If medical professionals provide substandard care or make careless mistakes, the results can be devastating. Anesthesia errors can cause serious complications, including brain damage.
Anesthesia errors resulting in brain damage often cause patients and their families to suffer physical, emotional, and financial losses. The anesthesia error lawyers at Zucker & Regev, P.C., in Brooklyn, NY, work with injured patients to hold liable parties accountable for the losses associated with brain damage.
How Can Anesthesia Errors Cause Brain Damage?
Like any other medical procedure, anesthesia involves a degree of risk. Still, anesthesia is generally considered safe, provided medical professionals uphold the accepted standard of care. Unfortunately, neglect and errors can cause catastrophic complications, including brain damage.
There are four stages of general anesthesia:
- Induction: The patient loses consciousness
- Excitement: Breathing and heart rate are erratic, and nausea and breath-holding are common, which makes choking possible
- Surgical anesthesia: Muscles relax, breathing slows, and nausea stops, allowing surgery to proceed
- Overdose: Breathing and heart rate falter and potentially stop
Brain damage develops when the brain is deprived of oxygen. A patient can suffer brain damage while under anesthesia if they enter stage 2 of anesthesia and choke, or if they slip into stage 4 of anesthesia during surgery. Brain damage can also occur if the breathing tube is placed incorrectly (or not soon enough) or if they suffer a stroke during surgery and it goes undetected or untreated.
Brain Damage Effects
Brain damage can affect a person in numerous ways. Brain damage effects vary based on the area of the brain where damage occurs and the extent of damage. Possible brain damage side effects include:
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Weakness or loss of coordination
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty with language comprehension
- Prolonged or extreme confusion
- Aggressive behavior or other personality changes
Causes of Anesthesia Errors
There are several possible causes of anesthesia errors, including:
- Failure to properly monitor the patient
- Administering too much or too little of one or more drugs
- Incorrect drug administration
- Delayed delivery of anesthetic
- Equipment malfunctions
- Adverse drug interactions
- Failure to provide the patient with pre-surgical instructions
Can I Sue For Anesthesia Errors?
Sometimes anesthesia errors are out of the control of the anesthesiologist or other medical professionals. However, many errors are the direct result of neglect or substandard medical care. Brooklyn patients can sue medical professionals for anesthesia errors when there is medical malpractice. When a medical professional fails to deliver the accepted standard of care or makes a mistake that would not be expected of similarly trained medical professionals presented with the same set of circumstances, it is considered medical malpractice.
Potential Damages in an Anesthesia Errors Case
The types of damages awarded in an anesthesia error case depend on the losses the patient suffers. Our Brooklyn clients may be due compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Cost of therapy and rehabilitation
- Cost of assistive care
- Cost of assistive medical devices
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
If you or a loved one has suffered brain damage that you believe was caused by an anesthesia error, the lawyers at Zucker & Regev, P.C. can advise you of your legal options regarding compensation for damages. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, contact our law firm at your earliest convenience.